Back in May Guam had an initial spread of the COVID-19 virus. . Early August the territory  is now in a second wave, and a stay at home order was put into place. This second wave has been devastating with now over 19 deaths and 1700 cases. Guam needed to make changes to protect its citizens from further spread of Covid-19. As a result, they chose to bring an exposure notification mobile app to their community very quickly to add additional tools to control the virus. 

With a need for fast deployment, the Guam Governor working with the Department of Health, key partners such as NextGenSys, and Galaide Group, and others turned to PathCheck Foundation to build their Google Apple exposure notification mobile app to help their community. Several factors enabled the PathCheck team to launch the app within a 30-day timeframe:

  • An experienced team, proven processes and a defined list of tasks – Having collaborated with several jurisdictions the team had streamlined their processes to a defined list of tasks and key milestones needed to launch their mobile app quickly. By having the ability to execute on set tasks as well as a team of experts, we were able to shave several cycles that saved weeks. 
  • Close communication with team members – Guam is located 14 times zones away from most of the PathCheck team.he team found a couple convenient times to meet and collaborate on critical tasks to address the needs of both organizations. In addition we also utilized collaboration tools such as Slack and Baton to eliminate the time zone differences and keep the project on schedule.
  • Innovations behind the scenes to execute quickly – The Guam team is the first jurisdiction to launch the PathCheck GAEN app that takes advantage of extensive research that led to our innovative –UX, verification server, and analytics server. In addition, the Guam team rolled up their sleeves and used their resources and Google to build the tools needed to drive adoption. 
  • Hosting option – With a fast-moving project, it had a huge impact on the critical timeline to not have to deal with finding a hosting provider. The team was able to use PathCheck’s pilot and production servers for  exposure notification and test verification, which saved a few weeks rather than having to build and migrate to a new environment.
  • Test, test, test.  The Guam team made sure to frequently beta test the application with a variety of different users and scenarios to make sure it was ready to launch. In addition, a group of PathCheck volunteers also ran the app through various scenarios to help ensure it met launch readiness. 
  • Collaborative Community –  The Guam team operated as a natural extension  of the Pathcheck community y. Aligned by mission, passion and same outcome helped unify the cross functional teams aimed at building the right technology solution and providing the advisory services need to the Guam Government to deliver an app that met their needs and the technology team understood  a good deal about the technology before  deploying it

“It’s an incredible privilege to be working with Guam and many other jurisdictions in the US and worldwide pioneering technology to fight the pandemic,” said Ramesh Raskar, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of PathCheck Foundation. “We’re a mission driven organization focused on providing customizable technology to help public health authorities implement solutions to complement their other tools to contain the pandemic.” 

Guam CovidAlert is based on the PathCheck solution designed to work with the Google Apple Exposure Notification API (GAEN). The PathCheck GAEN solution is free, open source software which is available for use by partners like Nextgensys to implement it. PathCheck offers the ability to customize the app, provides professional services as well as invested in a roadmap of continuous feature innovation to help jurisdictions improve app engagement and stop the spread of the virus. 

The PathCheck Foundation is honored to be chosen to build Guam Covid Alert and to have had the opportunity to bring together an amazing team to help Guam protect their citizens and stop the pandemic.

Learn more  about GUAM COVID ALERT https://guamcovidalert.guam.gov/