The Japan Times picked up on this thread, regarding the use of mobile phones to manage pandemics, with details of a funding proposal to the Ministry of Communications. Basically a disease-tracking system using GPS, the SoftBank subsidiary plans to run an initial pilot by outfitting 1,000 elementary school students with handsets to trial the program. This is one of several dozen approved funding proposals and, as we mentioned earlier, a natural attention grabber considering the combination of recent panics and predictable privacy issues.
“The number of people infected by such a disease quickly doubles, triples and quadruples as it spreads. If this rate is decreased by even a small amount, it has a big effect in keeping the overall outbreak in check,” said Masato Takahashi, who works on infrastructure strategy at Softbank.
He demonstrates with a calculation: If an infected person makes about three more people sick per day, and each newly infected person then makes another three people sick, on the 10th day about 60,000 people would catch the disease. If each sick person instead infected two people a day, on the 10th day about 1,000 people would get sick.
Interesting target on the youth angle, plays into the parents concerns and has added bonus of the next-gen. growing up with these activities as a natural part of life. We’re digging for more deets on MIC’s decision for this and other proposals.