Unleashing Innovation in Pandemics: Dr. Daniel Kraft and the “Waze for COVID-19” App

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created panic and fear around the world, it is also unleashing new opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Dr. Daniel Kraft, Singularity’s University’s Chair for Medicine and Founder & Chair of Exponential Medicine is doing exactly that.

Over the last few weeks Dr. Kraft has been mobilizing innovators around the world to brainstorm and build a new “WAZE for COVID-19” app. The app, which he intends to be leveraged by global public health authorities like the W.H.O., is not only intended to prevent the spread of the virus, but also help triage, diagnose and treat it.

Dr. Kraft has curated more information and COVID-19 related resources here.

Specifically, the app, which would be available on cell phones, laptops and possibly voice-driven platforms like Alexa, would provide localized and personalized actionable information to individuals. For example it would take into account people’s age, location, language, culture, education level, and medical conditions and then, with the help of integrated technologies, help with diagnosis, triage and access to testing sites and prescriptions. The app would also share data with public health authorities to improve learning, inform guidelines and responses and best allocate resources.

Just as Waze and Google Maps collect anonymous crowdsourced data to help people better navigate traffic and avoid hazards, this app would help individuals and public health entities best navigate the pandemic. Importantly, the app would continue to learn and improve over time as it gathers more data.

If you are interested in learning more, be sure to check out Dr. Kraft’s upcoming session at Singularity University’s virtual COVID-19: The State and Future of Pandemics March 16-18th. In addition, you can contact Dr. Kraft here if you would like to contribute to this project.

If you’re looking for more ways to help, check out these other opportunities to help solve for COVID-19: