How it Works
OK2Roam works by combining:
Testing and vaccine checking on the perimeter of a bubble or travel corridor, to keep out identifiable cases of COVID-19
State-of-the-art digital contact tracing inside, to close down an outbreak, should the virus get in, and
Individual risk scoring, which triggers proactive testing and enables the riskiness of the population within the bubble to be reduced to the point at which social distancing is not necessary.
Consumers will need to present a vaccine certificate or to take a test, buy or rent a wearable device, and keep the wearable device on for the duration of their trip or visit. Once they have tested negative for the virus, their device will show a green symbol, they are then “OK2Roam”. If the green symbol changes to orange, they will need to take another test and if they are unfortunate enough to become infected with the virus, it will turn red and they will need to self-isolate.
Businesses will need to set up their premises with one or more symptom scanning devices, equip their staff with wearables and provide those staff who man the doors with a mobile phone app to scan wearable devices of visitors, at the point of entry. They will also need to ensure their staff are periodically tested.
In the event of an infection, the business will be notified immediately; and it will be provided with a list of names and contact details of everyone who has been on their premises that may be at risk. This will give the business the option (but not the obligation) to reach out personally to all customers and staff who may be at risk. A dashboard, accessible on the internet, will enable them to monitor the progress of any outbreak amongst their own community. Businesses will pay for the initial installation and for a modest subscription, based on headcount. As OK2Roam is designed to be self-funding, the costs should be fully recovered in no more than a few months, by again operating at capacity.
Government / Health Authorities
Wherever OK2Roam is deployed, the government will see normal economic activity begin to return. Also, the vast sums of money it has been paying out by way of grants, subsidies and furlough schemes will be able to be reduced. In the event of infection within a reduced risk bubble or travel corridor, contact tracing will be much faster, much more effective and far less expensive because the names and contact details of everyone in the chain of infection will be provided immediately, saving the expensive, time-consuming and imperfect process of extracting the information via interview. They will know that all those who have potentially been exposed will see the symbols on their wearable turn orange and they will be able to monitor the progress of the outbreak in real time via an online dashboard.
Where governments fund the costs of setting up of the system, they will receive back revenue from wearable subscriptions, which should reimburse the initial outlay in just a few months.
Until vaccination is widespread, which will likely take many months, if not years, testing for COVID-19 will be an essential activity in fighting the virus. OK2Roam has access to the world’s most advanced rapid tests but can work with any government approved test too. Tests take place before entering the bubble or travel corridor to identify people who are infected with COVID-19. If they test positive for the virus, they are not allowed to enter and they are required to self-isolate. Those that test negative for the virus are then, by definition, low risk.
In addition to testing, OK2Roam also uses sophisticated symptom checking technology which detects temperature, heart rate and breathing. The most sensitive tests are molecular, which means that they look for the DNA of the virus. The two well-known types of molecular test are PCR and RT-LAMP. PCR is the gold standard test, but it requires reagents which are in limited supply; it requires a laboratory with sophisticated equipment; and it takes many hours to return a result. By comparison, RT-LAMP testing is much more cost effective. It can be done with inexpensive and widely available reagents; it requires only basic laboratory equipment, and it can return a result in around half an hour.
The main alternative to molecular testing, is antigen testing, which looks for the protein on the surface of the virus. Whilst antigen tests are not as sensitive as molecular tests, the best ones are adequate for screening people prior to entering the bubble or travel corridor.
While vaccination checking and testing on the perimeter will identify the vast majority of people who have COVID-19 or are immune, one can’t guarantee to keep the virus out completely. Therefore, a reliable method of contact tracing is essential to:
Identify possible chains of infection
Assess potential spread
Identify priority candidates for additional testing
Isolate anyone infected.
This is done by giving every person within the bubble a waterproof, wearable bluetooth device, which records interactions with all the other wearable bluetooth devices. For privacy reasons, contact information is encrypted and anonymised and it is only decrypted in the event of infection.
In the case of infection, the wearable enables everybody who has been in close contact with the infected person to be identified and notified immediately. This is crucial because scientific studies show that if contact tracing is instantaneous, it is possible to track an outbreak sufficiently rapidly to avoid an exponential spread, or in common parlance to keep the disease reproduction rate, ‘R’, below 1.
OK2Roam specifies dedicated wearables, rather than mobile phones, for three principal reasons:
They are designed specifically for the purpose, sampling data several times a minute, which makes them much more accurate.
They are more convenient than a mobile phone, for example, one can swim or shower with them without worrying.
As the wearables emit the same type of signals, the system spots situations in which the wearer may have strayed outside the bubble and come into contact with others. (requiring an additional precautionary test)
Personal risk scoring is done by looking at a variety of factors, including the prevalence of the virus in the local population and most significantly, the gregariousness of individuals within the bubble.
Gregarious individuals are high risk because if they get COVID-19, they could be ‘super-spreaders’ by virtue of their contact with a wide variety of others. By comparison, less gregarious individuals are lower risk because they are much less likely to spread the disease.
The higher risk gregarious travellers are flagged for more frequent testing and this in turn reduces the overall riskiness of the population within the bubble.
OK2Roam’s secure technical platform is accessible over the internet; so, companies and governments alike can use it to create reduced risk bubbles and travel corridors. As more bubbles and corridors are created, they can be joined up on this common backbone, allowing people to move around freely in an ever-expanding, reduced risk environment.
At the heart of OK2Roam’s technical platform is the Risk Management Model, which is used to compute risk for every individual in the bubble multiple times per day. Risk assessment is based on data inputs from three different input modules:
Health indicator measurements.
The platform re-assesses the individual infection risk per person multiple times per day and provides the resulting risk scores to the test management and access control modules.
While OK2Roam has developed the Unified Risk Management Model in conjunction with its own proximity tracing and test management modules, it can also be integrated with 3rd party systems if customers have already deployed various components. There is a set of APIs to achieve fast integration:
Access control API
Proximity tracing API
Test management API
The platform sits on the Arago Knowledge Core, an extremely scalable, distributed graph-based data engine, which currently stores more than 100 peta bytes of data globally.