3D medical background with virus cells.

PocketCare+

Protect Yourself and Your Community from Disease

PocketCare+ was developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo, a public research university. Its purpose is to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and potentially other infectious diseases, by using privacy preserving technologies to improve contact tracing.

PocketCare+ is built upon another application, called PocketCare, developed five years ago by CSE faculty and students at UB to track flu/virus propagation through close contact, and used by many volunteers. The data collected has also been used to model and predict flu/virus propagation in a paper titled "PocketCare: Tracking the Flu with Mobile Phones Using Partial Observations of Proximity and Symptoms".

Disclaimers: (1) PocketCare+ neither provides diagnostic services nor substitutes medical treatment. If you feel sick, please seek medical help. (2) If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the medical personnel will report your information to your local health department; and (3) PocketCare+ does not collect, store or disclose any personal information, as described in the FAQ below. Nevertheless, PocketCare+ does not guarantee that after you are diagnosed with COVID-19, no other PocketCare+ app users will be able to learn your identity and keep that information confidential.

On this page:

Available Soon

PocketCare+ will be available to download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store (Early May).

You can subscribe to be notified by email as soon as the app is available.

Your email address will only be used for notifications pertaining to the PocketCare+ application.

Contact Us

Email the PocketCare+ Development Team

How it Works

Health Reports

Helps you monitor your symptoms and be vigilant.

Privacy

Only anonymous data (no personal data) is collected.

GPS

Location data is stored locally on your device and not shared with others.

Pocket Care Plus text on a blue cross background.
Bluetooth

Is used to identify nearby devices.

Wi-Fi

Only as an alternative to GPS and Bluetooth and to save cellular data usage.

No Third Parties

Data will not be sold to any third parties.

Screenshots

The Pocket Care Plus welcome screen displayed on a smart phone.
The Pocket Care Plus devices screen displayed on a smart phone.
The Pocket Care Plus settings screen displayed on a smart phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What information does PocketCare+ collect?

    While PocketCare+ may collect non-personally identifiable information such as the device ID of your smartphone; it will not collect any personally identifiable information such as your name, address, email or telephone number.

  • Where will the information collected by PocketCare+ be stored and who will have access?

    The (non-personally identifiable) information will be stored on a secure server maintained by IT professionals and the information will only be accessible by authorized personnel.

  • Can others use the device ID information to identify me?

    No. Other users, including the app developers, IT professionals and authorized personnel who have access to the server will not be able to link the device ID to you.

  • Should I be concerned with my privacy since PocketCare+ may collect GPS location information?

    PocketCare+ stores GPS location information locally on the device. That information is not shared with any other user or devices. Users have the ability to share their own location information with medical personnel after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Will my phone be more vulnerable to attacks and malware when running PocketCare+?

    No, PocketCare+ is safe to use.
  • How does PocketCare+ know I’ve been close enough to someone?

    PocketCare+ uses various technologies, including Bluetooth  (BT) scanning, to determine your phone’s proximity to other phones running PocketCare+, even when no good GPS signals is available (such as in an indoor environment).

  • How does PocketCare+ know if I or someone else has COVID-19?

    A user must get tested in order to know if he/she has contracted COVID-19. PocketCare+ only reminds users to monitor their symptoms, and alerts users having symptoms or who have been within close proximity of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to seek medical advice, self-quarantine and/or get tested.

  • How will I be notified if I’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

    Once a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, PocketCare+ uses push notifications to notify other users of possible close contact with the infected individual (without revealing any personal information about the infected individual).

  • How will my location information be transmitted to medical personnel?

    Any user who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be asked to inform medical personnel and share his/her location trace information. PocketCare+ streamlines this process by allowing the user to download and share his/her personal location history, which is stored locally on the user’s device.

  • How do I know if I have COVID-19?  What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    If you think you have contracted COVID-19, refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for a list of symptoms and contact your primary care physician.

  • What do I do if I have COVID-19?

    If you have contracted COVID-19, follow all instructions and guidelines provided by your local officials and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).