More than 15,000 people, placed under home-quarantine, have received a message on their mobile phones, asking them to download the application. Just like the legendary “Q” from James Bond movies -– head of the fictional research and development division who helped Bond keep a track of people --, the application will keep a tab on people during this time.
“The app uses AI and geo-tagging to monitor if the quarantined person remains at home. If he moves out, we will get an alert and we will call him and tell him to stay put,” said Rohit Nathan, Sivaganga SP who came up with the idea for the application. He collaborated with a Chennai-based firm, Pixon AI solutions, which specialises in AI for video surveillance.
“The application can set perimeter limits. If the person steps out beyond this limit, it will send an alert to the authorities. The application is strictly to be used by the police for quarantined people and not for the public,” explained T. Muthu Kumar, Chief Technology Officer of Pixon. It will be uninstalled once the person comes out of quarantine, he added.
Similarly, police in the neighbouring Tiruvallur district have also developed an app – Cobuddy – that monitors the movement of quarantined COVID-19 positive people. Besides tracking the person, Cobuddy sends random messages to the quarantined person, asking him to take a photo of himself and upload it on the application.
The Cobuddy application also provides an SOS option that the patient can use in case he wants to alert the health department for urgent hospitalisation. If the photos indicate the person's condition is getting worse, he will be admitted to the nearest hospital with COVID-19 facility for further treatment.