How Mobility Data Can Flatten The Curve Of COVID-19


As the coronavirus pandemic ensues, lawmakers, the private sector and virtually all public services globally are searching for ways to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. Flattening the curve is the best epidemiological response to combat the spread of the coronavirus; this is why governments worldwide are implementing social distancing and shelter in place orders for all civilians. This response is the first line of defense for everyone, but it still does not address how to flatten the curve once an individual has contracted the virus. This is where technology can play the ultimate role in flattening the curve.


Virtually everyone has a smartphone with Bluetooth and location tracking capabilities. While many apps on users’ phones already use that data for their marketing efforts, this data can be used to significantly slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Users can opt-in and provide their location data to public health officials to establish a network of infected and uninfected individuals. This can be used to notify infected individuals and prevent the uninfected from catching the virus.


Some of the ways mobility data can reduce the curve of the coronavirus includes:


Give governments and health officials access to vital data: Governments and public health officials globally are trying to utilize all means to slow down the coronavirus. One of their pain points is their lack of access to data on affected individuals. They are limited to reported and hospitalized instances and have no way to slow down the spread for normal individuals in public spaces. Location data uses technologies like Bluetooth to collect data on every individual that was near an infected person. With this information, individuals can be notified on their phones to go get tested and stay away from family and friends. If this technology is deployed, it can reduce the curve significantly and accelerate the time it takes to resume normal life.



Allows health agencies to test their initiatives: Governments rely on the advice of health professionals from the CDC and other important health agencies to construct their initiatives to slow down the coronavirus.  Location data can quantify and analyze trends and behaviors among populations; this can show health officials how effective their initiatives are very quickly. With this information, they can pivot quickly and optimize their initiatives to slow down the spread of the virus.

Mobility patterns of citizens in the U.S. according to The New York Times


Maintaining privacy while flattening the curve: The biggest opposition to using location data is the concern that civilians have for their personal data. Civilians assume that location data grants new, unparalleled access into their lives. In contrast, location data serves to build a network that notifies affected individuals while keeping their data anonymous and private. Many states and countries already have strict laws regarding privacy and location data and tech companies cannot sell information to advertisers without facing harsh legal repercussions.


To learn more about how location data can be used with a privacy-centric focus to combat COVID-19, schedule a demo here.






Written by, Guest Writer -Dhoof Mohamed