Singapore AI Solutions Company, SQREEM Technologies, has joined the global fight against COVID-19 with the launch of “Channel SQREEM,” a real-time contact tracing and communication system which is immediately available for government agencies.
Already in use by the South African government, Channel SQREEM was built to assist governments with AI-driven contact tracing and direct engagement with people who are potentially at risk of having contracted COVID-19.
Recently named by the Financial Times as one of Asia’s fastest growing companies, SQREEM Technologies today utilises AI technology to track behaviour in the digital advertising world for clients like GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Mercedes. The firm also provides market analysis, insights and intelligence for some of the world’s largest companies along with other retail bank institutions and government agencies.
Now, the technology has been redesigned, recorded and developed into a real-time contact tracing and communication system.
Ian Chapman-Banks, co-founder and CEO of SQREEM says, “In order for citizens across the world to return to normal life, a reliable COVID-19 tracking system needs to be in place to ensure communities remain safe and protected. The system needs to be accurate, nationwide, and at the same time, in no way infringe on individual privacy.”
Tracing Risk with the Power of Artificial Intelligence
The SQREEM COVID Tracing platform functions as a proximity locator that does not infringe on an individual’s privacy. And it does not require users to download an application for their devices. Data on the platform is handled strictly by the government agencies, while SQREEM works as the platform provider and does not at any point have access to the data.
Once a person is found to have tested positive for COVID-19, the health authorities will run the home and office address of the individual through Channel SQREEM platform, which would apply AI and machine learning models to automatically determine how many other devices had meaningful risky contact with the carrier over the past 14 days.
Dividing the country into areas such as 5 square metre blocks, the solution monitors the time and speed of every device that enters and leaves each 5 square metre block in real-time, 24/7, over a two-week duration.
Each one of these at-risk devices are identified and located utilising the SQREEM AI engine. The country’s health authorities are then able to send targeted messages to each device, without having to identify the device owner, their phone number or their personal information.
The implementation could include calls to action such as asking people to contact the authorities for further instructions. Health messages can also be delivered in a variety of ways: through ads placed on the next website visited on the device or ads on social media platforms like Facebook, or other apps the person already uses.
The message can also be delivered to a cluster within a proximity rather than to an individual.
If the need arises, the government agency may work with national Telcos to match the device ID to a nationally registered phone number to call or SMS the owner of the device directly and privately but this is a matter for government decision.
Channel SQREEM complies with stringent privacy requirements and does not handle any data. The platform is strictly managed by authorised government personnel.
In addition to these capabilities SQREEM’s world-leading advanced behavioural data capabilities and pattern analysis, is able to fuse locational and other digital activity into unified profiles through examining hundreds and thousands of online data points. This allows the solution to identify potential new infection clusters. For example, if multiple individuals within an apartment block are conducting web searches for symptoms such as coughs or sore throats, the system would automatically interpret the data and flag the apartment block as a potential new cluster. Health authorities can then be alerted.
Channel SQREEM has been utilised by the South African health authorities since early March. The solution can be adapted for various countries in mere days. Currently the solution has an accuracy of 90%, and similar to other AI and machine learning solutions, the accuracy of Channel SQREEM will continue to rise as the AI continues to learn and optimise its algorithms.
Ian says, “Channel SQREEM was developed during the two weeks that I had put myself under self-imposed quarantine after a trip to the US and realised that there is a need for proven AI technology to effectively contain this virus. We believe that this can play an essential role in a country’s toolkit of solutions aimed at combating COVID-19, and we hope to be able to bring Channel SQREEM online for more countries soon.”
He adds, “To date, SQREEM’s AI capabilities have been proven in a myriad of scenarios: assisting governments with tracking criminal activity, predicting global market events, detecting instances of fraud, and assisting multiple firms in the financial sector with their media campaigns. We have leveraged our experience gained from these past successes to further assist governments in the fight with COVID-19.”