Aid Squad – Decentralized Global Pandemic Information Platform

Hello dear reader!

In a world where simply continuing with your day to day is getting more difficult thanks to a pandemic that is changing everything, we are doing our best to continue our duties and help as much as we can.

At GeoDB our team is well prepared to maintain daily activities while respecting WHO’s recommendations to stop the COVID-19 global pandemic. That’s why we are proud to share with you all our latest development, “Aid Squad”, the first decentralised Global Pandemic Information Platform.

This post originally appeared on Medium and this is an adapted version.

Motivation

At GeoDB we are aware of the difficult situation that all are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After several days of shock knowing the devastation that the virus is producing all around the world, our team agreed to contribute to tackle this emergency scenario and help prevent future epidemics. During the last days, we have carried out an extra-effort, working on a project which takes advantage of distributed ledger technologies aimed at fighting against the spread of epidemics. As a result, we have developed “Aid Squad”.

Direct app download Link:

android download

We are currently waiting for PlayStore to approve the app. Google is currently citing a delay of at least a week, so for now we can just say “Coming soon!”. I’ll update this post as soon as it is available.

What is “Aid Squad”?

Aid Squad is a non-profit project developed by GeoDB with the intention of contributing to society in the fight against the spread of epidemics and pandemics, offering a tool in which citizens can share their symptoms anonymously and express their support for solidarity causes.

We believe in the good faith of people and their predisposition to collaborate for the community interest even more in such catastrophic scenarios. So, we assume that people are willing to share their information, knowing that this is a way to help.

Aid Squad stores all sent data in the IOTA tangle (), in order to take advantage of distributed ledger technologies. Therefore, all data is publicly available and tamper-proof, so everyone can access it and nobody can modify it, but at the same time considering anonymity of private data.

In our case, we use this data to create visualisation tools and heat maps to represent the geographical distribution of users who may have certain diseases. These graphical resources are accessible to all users of the Aid Squad App, and they can be considered valuable pieces of information (e.g. showing which areas concentrate more people with a certain disease). However, it is necessary to highlight that, as these resources mirror the data sent by users, their validity depends on the veracity of the input data. So, under no circumstances, they should be treated as comparable to the information shared by official institutions.

Aid Squad System

Aid Squad system has different functionality which involves the following use cases.

Gathering Data

This process involves three steps.

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1.- Introducing data

Citizens can download the Android app called “Aid Squad” on their mobile devices. The only requirement to use the app is the allowance to share user’s location.

After that, users can share their data by filling the fields included in the PHR (Personal Health Record) tab. This is a form that includes:

  • General information: interval of age, gender, and location.
  • Symptoms: temperature, cough, headache…
  • Symptom’s duration.
  • Cause to support. Aid Squad gives users the opportunity to express their support to solidarity causes.

Despite the vast number of fields, the only mandatory ones are: location, cause to support and at least one symptom.

It is necessary to highlight that even with information filled in all of the fields, it is not possible to identify the person who sends the PHR. Therefore, each PHR is anonymous.

2.- Sending data

After filling in PHR and clicking the button “send”, the information will be sent and stored in IOTA tangle.

3.- Receiving karma points

The user will receive in return, several “karma points” for sharing his/her PHR. The more information is shared by the user (the more fields are filled in), the more “karma points” the user will receive.

Validating Causes

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Users have the option to send to  solidarity causes in which they want to express support, indicating its name and description. GeoDB will sign and store each solidarity cause in IOTA’s tangle, so anyone can check the information about each cause.

The Aid Squad app will automatically index all the causes stored in IOTA, making them accessible for the users.

Generating the Aid Squad Token

The system quantifies the gratitude expressed by users to each cause by allocating AidSquad Tokens. This is a token created exclusively for this purpose and is generated by a smart contract deployed in Ethereum.

Emitting rewards

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Periodically, a snapshot of the data sent to IOTA is taken. Each snapshot has a certain number of tokens assigned, so the tokens of the snapshot will be distributed between the causes that have been selected by the users within the data included in the snapshot. In this manner, tokens will be allocated proportionally to the times that a particular cause has been selected within the snapshot. Once every cause has been assigned with their tokens, the snapshot is signed and stored in IOTA.

Tokens can be transferred to the causes’ addresses by submitting the hashes of each snapshot to the Aid Squad smart contract, which is deployed in the Ethereum network.

Conclusions

Aid Squad is a non-profit project developed by GeoDB to contribute to our society in the fight against viruses spreading. The system takes advantage of distributed ledger technologies to store data in a tamper-proof, public and transparent way, allowing users, researchers and other interested parties to use data for their own purposes. In addition, the system uses this data to visually represent the geographical distribution of people who may have a particular disease.

The cornerstone of Aid Squad’s system is citizens’ solidarity. As it is their data that adds the valuable information used for different graphical representations. We believe in people’s goodness and solidarity, especially in emergency scenarios. Therefore, the validity of the representation will depend on the veracity of the input data. The system also implements some gamification features to thank users for spending their time and sharing their data.

In conclusion, Aid Squad offers citizens a tool that allows them to help to stop the virus spreading by sharing their symptoms. We are sure that WE will beat the virus!

Join us now and spread the word!

P.S.: Some inspiring quotes

“When ‘I’ replaced with ‘we’, even the illness become wellness” (Malcom X)

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” (Helen Keller)

“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do it good” (Aristotle)

Until next time, stay safe!

Thanks for reading!