PROTECT YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION
V-Trace is a free mobile app that allows you to help contain the coronavirus pandemic and better protect your environment and yourself. This app for Android and iOS is being developed right now and will be released during the following weeks.
Learn more about your risk
RECEIVE PERSONALIZED CONTACT ALERTS
V-Trace informs you quickly and easily when someone falls ill who you recently were in contact with – regardless of whether you visited a friend or met with a stranger at the supermarket. This helps you in your assessment of whether you are at risk yourself and whether you should isolate yourself to avoid infecting others.
How does V-Trace determine whether I am at risk?
V-Trace registers your direct encounters with other users and documents location, time, and distance of the encounter—completely anonymously. The technologies it uses are much more precise than mere GPS data and can detect as accurately as 1 meter how close you were to another user (depending on your operating system). This generates a precise list of your recent encounters. As soon as someone in this list shows relevant symptoms or is actually tested positive for the coronavirus you receive an alert on your phone.
Why are these alerts important?
One of the reasons why spread of the coronavirus is so difficult to control is because you might not show any noticeable symptoms for several weeks after infection. During this time it is still possible to infect other people, though. We might be infected and spreading the virus to others without even realizing.
When you receive an alert on V-Trace you can take preventive measures. You could deliberately increase your distance to other people, or you could notify your employer that you are at risk. In many countries testing for coronavirus also depends on having been in contact with another infected person—which you might not even know. Through the alerts over V-Trace you learn about these contacts early and can relay the information to your doctor. The alerts also allow you to take further measures to protect your own health.
Protect Family and Friends
AND DON'T TRANSMIT THE VIRUS
Knowing if you’ve been in touch with persons fallen ill recently or confirmed carriers of the virus helps you assess whether you are already a carrier yourself. Alerts by V-Trace protect not only yourself but especially your family and friends.
Gain back a piece of normalcy
The coronavirus crisis has changed our lives drastically within a very short time. Going to work, visiting our grandparents, invite friends into our homes—what was completely normal yesterday can represent a health risk to ourselves and to others today. V-Trace can help you evaluate this risk and gain back a piece of normalcy—carefully, of course, and within the official announcements!
Why is it important to protect my family and friends?
When we meet with our family and friends these encounters are more regularly and more intimately compared to other people. If someone is already infected or sick there is a high chance to spread the disease to those closest to us if we don’t make conscious changes to our behavior and lifestyle.
How can V-Trace help me protect my loved ones?
Even if we don’t experience any signs of illness, or just minor symptoms, we can already spread the coronavirus onto other people. The more of our friends and family members use V-Trace—ideally, all of them would use the app—the more reliable the early warning system of V-Trace becomes. As soon as we are alerted to infections among our contacts, especially when meeting with friends or family members, we can and should make changes to our behavior. This way, we can react to a single infection in our closer environment and take the appropriate measures to protect especially high-risk patients among our loved ones.
Support scientists all over the world
IN THEIR RESEARCH AND FIGHT AGAINST THE VIRUS
All over the world scientists are researching the spread and effects of the coronavirus. Support them by sharing your medical data and information on progression of the disease with them anonymously.
To quickly understand and react to the geographical spread and symptomatic progression of a disease research centers require as much information as possible. In your V-Trace Health Journal you can document your medical specifics (such as age or pre-existing conditions) as well as your personal progression of COVID-19 (e.g., fever and other symptoms) according to a survey developed together with our scientific partners. With your permission we will provide this data to scientific research centers worldwide—anonymized and without any personal connection to you.
Your data is protected
IN COMPLIANCE TO STRICT EUROPEAN DATA PRIVACY LAWS
Gathering the most minimal amount of data required and hereby applying highest standards for your data privacy is one of our key factors. Our approach is also focusing on storing all the data gathered by your smartphone on your smartphone whenever possible. Random identification numbers assure you staying anonymous anytime.
Even in times of a pandemic we don’t want to put our personal medical data in the hands of just anyone. Who we meet with, where we go, which pre-existing conditions we have—this is intimate information about us over which we need to maintain full control. V-Trace takes this into account and protects your data in accordance with the strict European data protection laws.
Encounters with other app users will only be stored and displayed in V-Trace in pseudonymized form. Other users will learn nothing about you from an encounter. The app only stores a pseudonym, a randomly generated identification number from which other users will not be able to identify you.
Whether you want to offer your Health Journal data for research purposes anonymously, whether health authorities may access your V-Trace contacts in case of an infection, whether they may contact you directly when one of your contacts has been infected—all of these decisions are up to you.
For transmission and storage of your data V-Trace makes use of reliable state-of-the-art security technologies to ensure safety of your data even in case of an attack.
Data Protection Certification
We are currently evaluating whether it is possible to have our app certified based on the PEPP-PT standard. This is a technical standard for data protection compliant Contact Tracing Applications, which is being developed by a non-commercial merger of european research institutes and companies. This standard will also be utilized by governmental Contact Tracing Apps. Provided that all of V-Trace’s essential features can be implemented in compliance to this standard, we assume this to be of high probability, we will take care that our app is certified based on this standard as soon as possible. This way V-Trace can be compatible with other Contact Tracing Apps that may be released in the future.
Doesn’t this already exist?
WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT V-TRACE
Momentarily, there are numerous projects that try to utilize apps to help contain the pandemic — and that’s great! Yet, out of those many projects, we didn’t find any project that manages to cover V-Trace’s feature set. This applies for governmental projects as well as for private initiatives.
Advantages over GPS based location tracking
V-Trace is designed to warn you if one of your recent encounters has turned into a risk of infection because the person you encountered has since developed symptoms of the disease. To do this, the app needs to understand who was actually physically close to you and who was only in your approximate vicinity. When you step into a supermarket, for instance, GPS alone is unable to tell if another person only was in the same building as you, or if they were standing in line directly behind you. When you enter an apartment building a GPS tracker cannot distinguish who was in the same apartment with you, or who was in another apartment, maybe even on a different floor. Even outside GPS would probably register someone across the street from you as an encounter. All these things taken together, you’d be shown a great number of apparent encounters with risk warnings that do not represent any risk in all reality. You wouldn’t be able to distinguish these encounters from those that actually put you at risk.
V-Trace is free
BUT YOU CAN SUPPORT US
With V-Trace we want to contribute to the global efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic. We will bear all incurring costs for its development and will provide the app free of charge. Yet, we need your help in order to finish V-Trace’s development and start distribution as fast as possible.
The more people use V-Trace—i.e., the more encounters are registered and the more Health Journals are provided to research centers—the greater its merit will be for every single one of us. One of our primary objectives is therefore to make the app as widely known as possible. By spreading the word about V-Trace you’re doing a great deal to help us. Talk to your family, your friends, and social media contacts, and tell them about V-Trace. Help us get the app out there!
Of course, completion of development, worldwide distribution and keeping V-Trace operational will require further, significant budget – which we won’t be able to cover on our own.
Who we are
AND WHO WE WORK WITH
V-Trace is a project by Better Than Life UG (haftungsbeschränkt), a software company from Freiburg im Breisgau in Southern Germany. We are currently establishing a network of partners to collaborate on the development and distribution of the V-Trace app.
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic Better Than Life UG (haftungsbeschränkt) primarily worked in two distinct fields: Own developments in gaming software and commissioned projects in the field of complex e-commerce solutions. In the face of drastic global developments, we have informed both our customers in the e-commerce sector and the users of our gaming platform YARPS that we will pause our ongoing projects to contribute to overcoming the coronavirus crisis. Thank you again for your understanding and support!
Our network of partners for the V-Trace project is currently being established. We are evaluating collaborations with different medical research institutions, authorities, and companies that we will mention here once the agreements have been finalized.
Become Part of the Solution
IT IS UP TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US
Containing the pandemic and saving countless lives depends on all of us. With V-Trace you will become part of a community of people who want to actively contribute to the solution.
We believe that with V-Trace we can contribute to slow down the spreading of the coronavirus significantly. If you share our views and convictions, please sign up for our newsletter or ask your questions directly via our contact form.