University at Buffalo researchers develop COVID-19 tracing app

Posted at 11:20 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 23:20:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Developers at University at Buffalo are working on an app they say can trace the spread of COVID-19.

The app is called PocketCare+ and researchers say it could help track where people with the virus have been and who they have come in contact with.

The app uses technology and information to monitor how the virus might spread.

“A user downloads the app, which uses their smartphone’s Bluetooth technology to measure each time the user is within a short distance of other people who have downloaded the app. The phone’s GPS technology marks the location of every encounter, as well as other places the user visited,” according to information provided by UB.

The new app is based on software the university originally developed to track the flu several years ago.

“About two months ago I decided that we're going to improve it and make it more customized for COVID-19,” says Chunming Qiao, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The app can be used without personal information.