An app has been developed which uses mobile phone location data to help people avoid coronavirus risk areas by three young entrepreneurs from Germany and Switzerland, Maxim Gleser, Robert Sachartschenko and Ibrahim Boeluebkas.

Gleser and Sachartschenk presented the app for Ruptly in Hannover on Sunday.

"There is no login, it's absolutely anonymous. All data that is being transferred within the cloud and the smartphone is encrypted, so there is no way for us or any other organisation to access the data," said Gleser, explaining the app predicts an individuals' infection risk based on their movements over the past two weeks.

The app is anonymous and only requires the upload of a positive, but anonymised test result to the data base of the app.​ The collected movements of the user are deleted every two weeks, the average incubation period of the coronavirus.

"It's of course the goal of the app to not let an epidemic become a pandemic. It can be used for any situation, so as soon as a virus or a new bacteria is discovered, people can start uploading their findings and warn other people,'' Gleser added.

Via a traffic light icon, the app informs the user if they are near people that tested positive for the SARS-Cov-2 virus. The app is "fully scalable" and could be used worldwide.

In a second version, a geo map will visualise high-risk and low-risk areas of one kilometre (0.6 miles) squares, showing their safety level based on how many infected people were registered in each square.

​Currently the app runs on a beta version, waiting for approval from the app stores.

According to the latest data compiled the Johns Hopkins University there are over 1.2 million coronavirus cases worldwide and nearly 66,000 deaths. Germany is the fourth-worst hit country internationally with 96,108 cases.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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