News Release

CCNY fights COVID-19 pandemic with new digital tools and AI

Business Announcement

City College of New York

A new mobile app developed by City College of New York physicist Hernan Makse and his colleagues will track and trace those infected with the novel coronavirus as a means of limiting and containing the spread of the virus, which causes COVID-19.

The K-core Tracing app uses Global Positioning System data to track millions of data points from mobile phone calls, GPS-based app and social media use, Bluetooth signals and public transportation to develop an algorithm that uses location data to find all of a person's contacts. This algorithm uses these data to notify the individual user that he or she has contact with a person who is either infected (by means of a red signal on the device), asymptomatic (a yellow signal), or not infected (a green signal).

The data gleaned from the app, which is voluntary, are also utilized to identify hot zones in a locality. All data are anonymized and they are deleted after 15 days.

The app has been tested in Fortaleza, the capitol of the Brazilian state of Ceara, and is scheduled to roll out statewide this month.

"As this pandemic continues, this app has implications for public authorities and companies seeking to curb its spread and to take necessary actions, as well as for citizens needing to know if they have been in contact with infected people, and researchers investigating the coronavirus," said Makse.

K-core Tracing was developed by K-core Analytics, an artificial intelligence-based market and opinion research firm based at The City College. K-core Analytics is a partnership between CCNY, the Federal University of Ceara, and GranData.


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