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23 April 2021, 13:22

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Photo by E. Samarin.

Since 1987, the Edison Awards have been recognized for achievements in new product and service development, marketing, design and human-centered innovation.

Moscow service “Social monitoring”recognized as a bronze medalist at the Edison Awards – a prestigious award dedicated to new technologies. This is a kind of “Oscar” in the field of innovation.

The metropolitan service was ranked third in the Accessibility and Transparency subcategory. The first place was taken by the information project of the USAFacts website, dedicated to the detailed statistics of the spread of coronavirus infection in the United States. In second place was the development from Saudi Arabia.

Oscar of Innovation

The Edison Awards recognize and celebrate the most innovative products and their creators, and are tacitly recognized as Oscars for innovative inventions. Over the years, Elon Musk with Tesla, Steve Jobs with Apple developments, Clayton Christensen with Harvard Business School were nominated for the award.

It is an annual competition that has been held since 1987 and celebrates achievements in the areas of new product and service development, marketing, design and human-centered innovation.

The jury consists of the permanent members of the Edison Prize committee and industry experts – over 3,000 senior executives and academics.

What is “Social Monitoring”

The Social Monitoring service has been used in Moscow since April 2020 to combat the spread of coronavirus infection. It allows citizens with mild illness to receive medical care at home, informing the city of conscientious observance of the isolation regime. More than 600 thousand users have registered with the service during the year.

“The project became revolutionary for Moscow: it was implemented in a short time on the basis of the existing IT infrastructure of the city and made it possible to quickly respond to a new threat caused by the rapid spread of a dangerous virus. For more than a year now, the use of Social Monitoring and other technical means has been helping the capital to contain the spread of COVID-19 and control the burden on the healthcare system, as well as to protect the most important thing – the lives of citizens. The high appraisal of the international professional community underlines the importance and relevance of such decisions not only for Moscow, but also for other megacities, ”said the press service of the Moscow Department of Information Technologies.

When developing the application, the experience of large cities faced with the coronavirus pandemic was taken into account. This helped create a balanced technical solution that best suits the task at hand. At the same time, unlike other megacities, Moscow has taken the path of reducing the amount of personal data of citizens necessary to control the spread of coronavirus. To use the “Social Monitoring”, you only need to specify the address and upload a photo at the time of registration in the application.

The reliability and stability of the application was confirmed by leading Russian experts in the field of information security, as well as experts from Google and Apple. They make sure to test apps before uploading them to the store.

“Social monitoring” is used by Muscovites who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, but who are treated at home, as well as those who live with the sick.

If it is not technically possible to install the application, the Moscow Government provides smartphones free of charge for the duration of treatment or compliance with the isolation regime. Since April 2020, residents have received more than 51,000 such devices. Some of the smartphones were provided by the project partners – large equipment distributors.

How the application developed

“Social monitoring” was constantly being improved taking into account the opinions and suggestions of citizens. So, at the request of users in the service, it became possible to find out if the identification was successful, and to redo the photo if it did not work out for some reason. In February 2021, the application introduced a “quiet hour” feature that allows citizens to temporarily disable identification requests.

In the near future, identification in the “Social Monitoring” will become a two-stage: in addition to a photo, users will need to confirm the geolocation shown on the map, thus, during identification, the user will be sure that the system does not record violations.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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