New App Can Help Track Social Distancing, Possible COVID-19 Exposure



There is now an app that can help track social distancing thanks to researchers based at the University of Memphis.

The free app, mContain, was developed by the Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge, headquartered at the U of M. It is meant to reduce community transmission in the Memphis area amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The app uses location and Bluetooth technologies on smartphones to detect encounters within six feet for several minutes with other app users. The app displays the number of daily encounters by users.

If users and their COVID-19 test provider both agree to share the results, the app can notify others about their possible exposures to the disease.

  • mContain

The app also has a map feature that shows the level of crowding at particular places to help users avoid entering crowded areas. Though as of Tuesday morning, enough users have not downloaded the app for the map to show hot spots. To have sufficient data, at least 1,000 users must download the app. So far, 22 people have downloaded it.

  • mContain

mContain is currently available online and on the Google Play Store, and will soon be downloadable from the Apple App Store.

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