IIIT-Delhi launches coronavirus awareness app ‘WashKaro’

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |

Published: April 18, 2020 12:32:39 pm

App has tracker, information repository (Representational image)

The Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Delhi has developed a mobile application called WashKaro. In a press release, the institute claims that it can raise awareness among people regarding the coronavirus and has furnished tools that can help them maintain a safe distance from the disease.

“WashKaro app aims to provide the right information to people in the right format at the right time. It delivers daily updated content in Hindi as bite-sized audios for those who are unable to read,” the institute said in a statement. The app delivers government advisories from official pages and contains a symptom tracker (based upon WHO) for people to know if they are safe.

The app also houses a CovidTracer, which tells people if their safety is compromised because they are close to someone COVID-19 positive. It’s a peer-to-peer network and uses bluetooth technology for communication. It doesn’t need internet or location services and no data is stored anywhere on any server.

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It also has an onAIr feature which makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to cross-check news with WHO documents. This, claims the institute, can curb the spread of misinformation.

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“WashKaro is the first AI-powered infodemic management app that provides a suite of tools to keep users safe at all times by providing authentic audios in Hindi, bluetooth-based physical distancing and self-tracking,” claims Dr Tavpritesh Sethi, a clinical data scientist and an assistant professor of computational biology at IIIT-Delhi.

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