NEC iQuarantine App

In March 2020, New Zealand, along with many countries throughout the world, was forced into a complete lockdown in order to try and stop the spread of the COVID-19 Corona Virus.

The enforced lockdown and the impact on the lives of millions of Kiwis has led to a change in behaviour and the way we now carry out our day to day lives.

One of the biggest risks to the spread of the virus both here in New Zealand and across the globe is people not self-isolating when they show the symptoms on COVID-19. Many people still rely on a trip to the doctors or the hospital to check in if they are showing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.

This not only puts a strain on the healthcare system, but it also means that healthcare professionals are being put at risk.

Whilst here in New Zealand, we have seen the roll-out of a QR Code system to help with contact tracing, we saw an opportunity to use our world-leading technology in order to help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the strain on the healthcare system.

NEC iQuarantine was born.

What is NEC iQuarantine?

As the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold, Head of Innovation and Transformation at NEC New Zealand, Steven Graham saw an opportunity to help.

He began work with three Wellington-based organisations to set up a team to run a design and build process to have a solution ready to bring to market.

NEC iQuarantine is a mobile check-in and case management system that allows users to report their location and health status up to three times a day from their own homes.

The smartphone app is easy to use for both those in self-isolation and health professionals. It helps users track the number of days they have been in self-isolation and will alert them through a push notification immediately if there is any change to the COVID-19 alert level.

Health services can also use the app in the field to update case information in real-time.

Using the NEC iQuarantine Case Management Portal, health services can easily access individual case information, including the status and priority of those in self-isolation.


Let’s stop the spread of COVID-19

Working with partners worldwide, NEC has developed the NEC iQuarantine App – a mobile app which will allow our amazing health professionals and government agencies to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in real-time.

Find out more about NEC iQuarantine and talk to the team today about how we can work with you to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Who we work with

NEC iQuarantine is a collaboration between NEC New Zealand and partners, Fronde and Alphero. Fronde specialises in getting the most out of remote workers whilst Alphero is a digital agency behind some of the most innovative, landmark digital services in New Zealand.

NEC iQuarantine uses NEC’s facial recognition software, which last year was ranked first overall by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in its Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT), after registering the faces of 12 million people.

This collaboration brought together the skills and expertise of all three businesses in order to design, develop and deliver this app within a timeframe that would help to manage the spread of COVID-19.

The secure data storage required to deliver the app is provided by Amazon Web Services – a global leader in cloud services – who were more than happy to endorse and support a project with the potential to impact on so many lives.

The NEC iQuarantine Case Management Portal is powered by world-leading CRM provider Salesforce.


Key features and benefits of NEC iQuarantine App

Whilst NEC iQuarantine is currently being used as a way of tracking COVID-19, the app and its future applications are wide and varied and could help across a wide range of sectors.

The launch of the app comes at a time when there are a number of other app-based solutions coming to the market so what sets NEC iQuarantine apart? Here are some of the features and benefits of the app:

World-leading facial recognition
Many other apps on the market only require people to enter their details with no way of verifying their identification. NEC iQuarantine uses NEC’s world-leading facial recognition technology in order to accurately identify and verify individuals.
Highly-scalable, mobile-first user experience
The application has been designed to deliver a mobile-first user experience which makes it easy to use for health professionals and individuals at home. Health professionals can use the app in the field to update case information in real-time.
Secure data storage
As the app is collecting a lot of personal data including the use of facial recognition, it was essential to partner with a secure provider of data storage. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a world-leading provider of cloud-based solutions and were happy to support the NEC iQuarantine app in order to deliver a solution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Future uses of iQuarantine

NEC iQuarantine has a number of potential uses across a wide number of sectors, the primary goal remains the protection of New Zealanders by reducing the spread of COVID-19.  

We must seek ways to boost revenue back into New Zealand to offset the fiscal spend to stimulate the economic recovery from Covid-19.  One of the potential future uses currently under consideration is in the education sector.  Government research reported in 2018 that international education contributes an estimated $5.1 billion to the economy, making it our country’s fourth-largest export, with an additional $4 billion in discretionary spend.  

Education Minister at the time, Chris Hipkins stated, “$4.8 billion is attributed to international students visiting New Zealand and $0.3 billion to education and training goods and services delivered offshore.” 

Presently, with the country in a state of lockdown to international visitors, this leaves a huge gap in the New Zealand economy, along with international tourism. NEC is proposing to MiQ the NEC iQuarantine app to manage the reintegration of international students to the country, helping to impose strict isolation protocols requiring students to check-in using facial recognition up to three times a day, the use of a wearable for contact tracing purposes, reporting on the health and wellbeing of students and workers, as well as managing updates about various alert level status changes directly to students’ phones. 

NEC iQuarantine can be adapted to suit a wide range of needs and the platform opportunities are potentially game-changing in our fight against COVID-19. 

Person using iQuarantine on smartphone

Why choose NEC?

NEC biometrics lead the world in accuracy and speed, providing solutions for over three decades, locally and internationally. It is our commitment to research and development that allows us to create innovative technology such as the NEC iQuarantine app.

It is also thanks to our partners on this project that we have been able to bring the NEC iQuarantine App to market in such a timely manner in this challenging time. The support of AWS and Salesforce has meant that the app has the support of world-leading companies within the relevant fields.


NEC iQuarantine App for Returning Students

Project lead NEC New Zealand have proposed an end to end quarantine approach to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to develop and deploy a pilot programme for a managed quarantine solution that will help New Zealand to safely open its borders to international students.

The solution will help breathe life into the NZ$9 billion New Zealand export education sector, after the country closed its borders in its early response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.


Uplift the air travel experience – a post-Covid flight plan

Throughout the pandemic, NEC has been working on a number of solutions to help to arrest the spread of COVID-19. NEC’s iQuarantine application is a mobile check-in and case management system that allows users to report their location and health status from their own homes. Drawing on our experience with Delta Airlines in the US, we continue to work on new solutions to unify requirements into one complete solution.

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