In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, the HKSAR government is pulling out all the stops to make sure its citizens are safe and that normal economic and citizen day-to-day activities can be resumed.
To the end, the Smart Government Innovation Lab in Hong Kong has launched a new solution, developed by one of its incubated tech firms. The solution is now ready for acquisition by other firms, government agencies and academic institutions.
To understand how the solution works, a basic background of the Covid-19 threat is necessary.
Why Covid-19 is spreading so fast
The biggest reason why the virus spreads so easily within a community is that infected persons have an incubation period of about 14 days, and there are no obvious surface symptoms.
Many people do not know if they have been in contact with incubators. If the use of blocking strategies (such as closing down schools, indoor gyms, movie theatres, borders and other places where people congregate in large numbers), the issue can only be solved in the shorter term.
In the longer-term, this will not only affect the normal life of citizens but also cause huge economic losses.
The mathematical model of how coronavirus is spreading
Mathematically, researchers are assuming the infection rate is 2% and the average size of people that gather in public areas is 600 people.
If the community does nothing to identify the incubators and alert them not to enter public areas, in 84 days, the total infected people can grow to 3 million.
If 80% of incubators are identified and blocked, the infected number can be reduced drastically to less than 1,000.
Thus, the solution, called the COVID19 Community Prevention Software System is based on the Mathematical Model.
The most effective way to implement the mathematical model is to use the smartphone registration app and also to install dedicated terminals in public places such as a library, cinema, school, and gym to record where and when the citizens have visited.
When a person is reported as virus-infected by medical authorities, the system immediately puts all persons who appear in the same place at the same time as the confirmed patient into an Alert List and transmits it to all terminals.
This system gives a friendly alert to potential incubators when they are entering public areas.
It is important to note that the solution is not a user tracking system.
The solution can be applied in areas of Education, Health as well as Recreation and Culture.
The solution employs Data Analytics and Mobile Technologies.
Dedicated terminals in public places such as a library, school, gym, and those government departments opened to the general public. By screening of possible infected people, it makes public places are a safe place to visit.
Each terminal costs HK$ 2,000 and there is no installation required as the terminal is battery operated and supported WiFi/4G network.
About the Smart Government Innovation Lab
In 2018, the Government established the Smart Government Innovation Lab to explore hi-tech products such as AI and relevant technologies, including machine learning, big data analytics, cognitive systems and intelligent agent, as well as blockchain and robotics from firms, especially local start-ups.
The Lab is always on the lookout for innovation and technology (I&T) solutions that are conducive to enhancing public services or their operational effectiveness.
I&T suppliers are encouraged to regularly visit the Lab’s website to check on the current business and operational needs in public service delivery and propose innovative solutions or product suggestions to address them.