In North Dakota, Microsoft engineer Tim Brookins designed an app to track the steps of people who are tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in order to find others who may have had contact with the infected person, as well as gather data to assist with modeling, divulged by Gov. Doug Burgum during his daily briefing last Tuesday. The app was adopted from the same app developed by the same engineer that tracks North Dakota State University football fans on their annual trek to Texas for the national championship.
Named Care19, the app intends to provide a backtrack monitoring device that would help with contact tracing protocol in tracking Covid-19 patients and identify those who may have caught of the virus from the patients or PUIs.
“This is a way that every North Dakotan can save lives by downloading the Care19 app,” Burgum said.
Same with the Bison Tracker, Care19 app protects identity and privacy of its users. When downloaded, individuals will only be given a random ID number as it will cache the individual’s locations throughout the day and can categorize users’ movement into different groups such as work or grocery trips. It displays all the places the user has been for at least 15 minutes, the same period for the virus to have been contracted by another person if there’s face-to-face contact, as per federal health officials.
The app can also assign a risk score to the users depending how they move and interact across the state. For instance, a person is less likely to be at risk from infection if he or she mostly stayed at home and had an occasional trek to the grocery store.
Brookins is a principal software engineer at Fargo’s Microsoft campus and CEO of sports app software company ProudCrowd who came up with the Bison Tracker app years ago. During the brainstorming session with Microsoft engineers, former executive at Microsoft Burgum had an eureka moment when he introduced Brookins as the creator of Bison Tracker.
“My staff just lit up and said, ‘That’s what we need,’” Brookins told The Associated Press.