A Burbank technology company has joined the war on the COVID-19 pandemic with their website that collects data from its users about possible COVID-19 symptoms and provides a virus risk assessment.
The COVID-19 symptom tracking website InfoGears.org was created by the small startup tech company NetGenix in partnership with Instigate Mobile, an Armenian tech company. The non-profit website was developed to help communities and city governments spot local virus trends.
The free site is user friendly and completely anonymous. Individuals are asked if they have any symptoms, have they been tested for the virus or antibodies, their gender, age and how often do they go out. There are twelve questions total. When the survey is finished, a risk assessment is done ranking the users virus threat level. The questions follow the same CDC main symptoms and secondary indicators that are listed on their site. Infogears covers Burbank, Pasadena, Glendale and La Crescenta-Montros. When I took the survey, my assessment was low, thankfully.
Vahag Karayan, 44, and Gugo Martikyan, 45, are both Armenian immigrants who arrived in the US in the early 1990s. Both are longtime residents of Burbank. The two met at UCLA while studying computer science. Before starting NetGenix, the two computer scientists were employed by Fortune 500 companies and worked together at Entertainment Partners. NetGenix was launched in January. Soon the Coronavirus pandemic arrived and its subsequent lockdown; suddenly the two found themselves with very few clients and too much free time. When Karayan and Martikyan followed the virus’ daily reported statistics, the numbers would bother them.
“Why are the numbers always late?” thought Karayan. “When someone takes the [virus] test and gets a positive result, it’s already too late for the hospital or locality. If you have many people showing up at the same time, it’ll overwhelm the hospital systems. This is a lagging indicator.”
Karayan and Martikyan felt leading indicators were needed. Using self-reported symptoms would achieve that.
“Over time we will be able to tell if there is going to be an increase of COVID-19 cases in a locality,” said Karayan. “This allows for hospitals or cities to react before those cases make it to a hospital.”
also in lockdown, and started developing the site. Working twelve hours days, with no compensation, for five weeks resulted in InfoGears.org.
NetGenix is in talks with Burbank and Glendale city governments to work with one of their departments and to promote the site. They are also seeking partnerships for the site. Infogears is being heavily promoted on Facebook and Twitter.
Karayan is enthusiastic about the site benefiting the communities it targets.
“If you don’t help each other, the world will not be a better place.”