The number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported in the US over the last few months has been jaw-dropping. As of Nov 5, over 250,000 cases had been confirmed across 1,600 colleges across the nation. There has been a long-standing fear that even the country’s well-resourced health centers were in danger of becoming overwhelmed.
As the pandemic rages on, special focus is being placed on college campuses one of which is the Arizona State University. The campus is among the hardest hit according to the New York Times, and its sheer size makes it difficult to handle the outbreak.
The university is not standing down though, despite the glaring challenges. The campus is proving its resilience in the face of the pandemic through the development of a Blockchain-based track and trace app. The university now requires its 74,500 on-site students as well as its 12,400 employees to use the app daily.
The “HealthCheck” app being used by the university was designed by Safe Health Systems, or SHS, a partner of Mayor Clinic. The app is powered by a digital health platform known as SAFE which helps generate digital health IDs, while also delivering an audible log of events that can help with the tracking of patients. The platform also ensures that sensitive health data is stored away safely. SHS CEO Ken Mayer spoke of the importance of the HealthCheck app in ensuring the right data is available.
“We need vastly better information about cases of COVID-19 across various populations to be able to diagnose, treat, and make smart choices about how we approach community response to the virus, with less of a ‘peanut butter’ approach. Only with this kind of information, shared across providers in a smart, secure, tamper-proof way, can we start to move forward.”
A handful of U.S colleges have notably had significant success with launching in-house surveillance testing programs that randomly test students, regardless of whether they display symptoms. Hopefully, the app can help minimize the number of infections as we await a possible mass distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
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