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PathCheck partners with UAB to offer university’s COVID-19 exposure notification technology to other states, countries

  • November 19, 2020
Partnership with the PathCheck Foundation, founded at MIT in Cambridge, Ma., will enable other states and countries to use UAB-created exposure verification technology for exposure notification.

Close-up of mobile phone displaying a screen from the GuideSafe Exposure Notification app being held by unidentified woman; users of the app can anonymously share a positive COVID-19 test result - and be anonymously notified of potential previous close contact with someone who later reports a positive COVID-19 test result - without sharing anyone's identity; August 2020.Partnership with the PathCheck Foundation, founded at MIT in Cambridge, Ma., will enable other states and countries to use UAB-created exposure verification technology for exposure notification.The University of Alabama at Birmingham has partnered with the PathCheck Foundation — which was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to include UAB’s anonymous and encrypted COVID-19 test verification technology created for GuideSafe™ in PathCheck’s own exposure notification app. The partnership will enable other states and countries to best leverage the Google Apple Exposure Notification app as the nation and world continues to develop tools to help tackle the current pandemic.  

“Several states have expressed interest in using UAB’s test verification technology through the PathCheck platform. The test verification technology was developed as part of our GuideSafe™ multitool platform, and we are delighted to be able to provide this test verification technology to help make it easier for other states to resolve problems we have already solved,” said Sue Feldman, Ph.D., professor and director of graduate programs in health informatics at UAB. “Our hope is that this is just the beginning of the expansion of the use of the UAB-created technology, and that it will be available to everyone very soon.”

GuideSafe™ — a multitool platform developed by a team of experts at UAB, part of the University of Alabama System, to combat COVID-19 — launched its exposure notification app statewide in Alabama on Aug. 17. To date, more than 150,000 Alabamians have downloaded the app with almost 350 positive COVID-19 tests reported through the app statewide.

Several states, territories, and countries are implementing the PathCheck exposure notification solution and, through this partnership, PathCheck will work with jurisdictions to provide UAB’s test verification code innovation. The intellectual property for this innovation is being offered by UAB non-exclusively to other states, and more are anticipated to be joining soon.

Read more for a timeline on Alabama’s GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App:

“We are excited to bring UAB’s innovation to other states and countries as we seek ways to help us all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ramesh Raskar, associate professor of Media Arts and Sciences, director of the Program on Distributed and Private Machine Learning at MIT, and founder of the PathCheck Foundation.

PathCheck Foundation is a 501©3 charitable organization working to build digital solutions for public health through open source software, standards and public health programs that help contain the pandemic, restart the economy and protect individual freedom and privacy.

Releasing the GuideSafe™ test verification technology to PathCheck will have a direct benefit on Alabamians, said Brian Rivers, associate vice president and chief technology officer at UAB.

“By allowing other states to use the test verification technology using the National Key Server, Alabamians who utilize the GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification can receive notifications if they are exposed to people from other states who are using participant notification apps of their state. The exposure notification would work in those cases and either party could be notified if the other reports a positive test.” Rivers said. “You only need the app from your state. If you’re an Alabamian, all you need is the GuideSafe™ app.”  

Supported by CARES Act funding, the GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App was built by UAB with support from Birmingham-based MotionMobs in active collaboration with the Alabama Department of Public Health and integrating Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System.

The technology protects personal privacy and data while anonymously alerting a user of possible exposure to someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. GuideSafe™ app notifications can arm users with information needed to quarantine or seek testing and treatment — all while guarding user privacy.

Download GuideSafe’s™ anonymous COVID-19 Exposure Technology App for Android or iPhone today.

For more information and a list of GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App-specific FAQ’s, please visit