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#bubble - your covid bubble awareness platform

#bubble is a smart phone/tablet application that provides you with personal covid bubble risk awareness based on testing data, ePRO data, and profile information. It utilizes a graphical database, the same technology that underlines many of our favorite social media platforms, to provide a holistic look at your personal covid bubble and those bubbles connected to it. It allows you to make decisions about when to avoid persons associated with high-risk populations, when you may need to quarantine, and when you may need to get tested. The application also serves as a data entry point for covid test data which is submitted to WATERS. It also provides up-to-date federal, state, and local Covid-19 guidance. It can help you to live a more careful, more confident, more connected life.

5 min Video of Capstone Project

Elevator Pitch

#bubble is a smart phone application that provides real-time risk awareness about your personal covid bubble (and it captures test data).

Challenge Goals

This solution goes beyond a standardized test data capture platform to show what one can do with access to such data. It also serves as a data entry point for test data. It utilizes profile, location, and test QR codes or barcodes to automatically collect data in a way that is intuitive, quick, avoids redundancy, and easy to understand. It harmonizes all data entered into HL7 format for consumption by WATERS.


This offering has high feasibility. The graphical database backend already exists and contains the necessary logic to support the platform. The app's frontend is mocked up, and the security and permission requirements along with unique ID generation system logic are well understood. Given that this solution requires access to test data, a full-feature rollout would require a harmonized data capture system be implemented. A best-case scenario would be that the harmonized data capture system utilizes this application as a data capture point. Cross-platform phone applications that points to a web app can be rolled out relatively quickly, within a matter of weeks.


Utilizing a graphical database backend, a user defines their bubble and the people within their bubble. Testing data, ePRO data, and profile information is analyzed and used to keep your family, friends, and others aware of their own bubble's risk in a secure, anonymized, permission-controlled fashion. It both captures and displays data within an intuitive, cross-platform (iOS, android, windows, etc.) interface. This offering is aimed at helping people overcome the anxiety and fear-of-the-unknown associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.


This solution utilizes graphical database technology in a way that hasn't yet been demonstrated like this. The application meets people where they're at in a convenient way: right there on the phone in their hand. It serves as both a data entry point for IVD data capture, harmonization, and transmission to WATERS as well as a novel platform aimed at alleviating a bit of the human anxiety associated with this pandemic.

Flexibility & Scalability

This solution is cross-platform enabled and infinitely scalable across smart devices including smart phones and tablets. It can be made accessible by anyone with a smart device.

Sustainability & Extensibility

This solution applies identical data collection and harmonization logic across all smart device platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.). Since each platform's app links directly to a web application, we're able to keep device-specific update requirements to a minimum and maintain a consistent experience. It is also very easy to develop connections to any future browser-enabled smart devices that gets released. Given that the graphical database backend uses logic that is customizable/tweakable, this solution can be used for infectious diseases/pandemic situations beyond that of Covid-19.

Team & Collaboration

Brandon L. Barrett, PharmD, MS - Senior innovation developer, polymath, champion of human centric and intuitive design.
Christopher Dunn, MS - Senior data scientist, graphical database wizard, analytical chemistry lab veteran, musician, ninja.
Deepika Katta, MS - Senior prototype developer, creator, designer, figurer-outter.
Aline Martinez, BFA, MLS - Taxonomist, organizer, people connector, info extractor, artist.
Andrew Grothen, PharmD - Data guru, clinical pharmacist, amateur enterprise architect, OCD+, provider of vast amounts of varied knowledge.
Sean Tepper - Senior web developer, UI/UX specialist, a creative, applier of polish, maker of pretty and intuitive things.

USP stands for trust in public health, and it has for over 200 years.

Additional Comments

This was a really great exercise for us to stretch our imaginations and abilities. We hope you like our entries! Here's a Vimeo link to the videos for both of our Capstone Project entries: 

Test Data Entry for WATERS:


What Team(s) contributed to this Capstone Project?

Although we tried linking up with other participating teams initially, this was a USP-only team project. We did call on input from others across our organization: a diagnostic testing specialist, lab scientists, data scientists, communications, etc.

If you are using patient data, are you using real patient data or mock data? Please use MOCK patient data only

MOCK data

edited on Nov 29, 2020 by USP Digital & Innovation
USP Digital & Innovation

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Sophia B Liu 6 months ago

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

People's Choice Voting Extended

Reply 0

Sophia B Liu 6 months ago

This idea has been advanced to the next phase

People's Choice Voting Extended

Reply 0

Andrea Pitkus 5 months ago

Trying to understand if there are preconditions met by other software. (In general) 1. How to collect AOEs, from ordering provider/patient/specimen collector 2. Integrate into app/LIS or other information source for patient to be married to results of IVD test device/system 3. All transmitted to public health (ELR) 4. All transmitted to HHS (may be met by 3).

Will your approach support all 4 or only portions of above for "tracking lab results"?

Looks like your application is EHR specific. Do you support LIS based reporting of ELR in HL7 v2.51 (per the MU IG)? For patient performed results are they routed to the physician who is required to report via electronic Case Reporting (eCR) by law? Is only CDA supported or other messaging formats like FHIR and V2.51 depending on where the reporting occurs

How/where are LOINC, SNOMED CT and other codes systems supported in your messaging to meet requirements?

How are CLIA testing requirements met in your system?

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USP Digital & Innovation 5 months ago

Great questions! The unique patient identifier system links patients to bubbles based on a combination of address & phone number & name/demographic info. This is held within the containing database for all three systems (SMART on FHIR EHR connected application, the web portal, and the #bubble app). Each test result will be associated with the correct patient and that data will be accessible by all systems and by HHS's WATERS. If you have specific questions regarding how that'd work in detail, we're happy to answer.

The application is NOT EHR specific. The SMART on FHIR framework allows the application to be EHR agnostic. The idea is to be able to reach everyone... caregivers within the EHR environments they're already working within, providers and/or patients that do not have EHR access or cell phone/tablet access, and to those patients in their homes with the #bubble app. The reporting is done with LIS based reporting support in HL7 format. We condensed each of the question sets for Lab Based and Non-lab Based methods into easy to understand report for both caregivers and patients. (i.e. asking if the test was ordered today and auto-filling today's date, taking a logical approach to information collection, etc.). As part of this offering, device manufacturers will need to link their UPC/QR codes to their individual products so that when scanned, the applications enter the correct data pertaining to the specified test in the correct format.

LOINC and SNOWMED CT and other codes can be automatically generated from answers/profile information provided to meet messaging requirements. The same goes for LOINC and SNOWMED code systems, depending on what is required and when. Profiles are also generated on the provider side that dictates these requirements, and are meant to be automated as much as possible. The system would also be able to implement automatically reported test data (e.g. electronic/BT compatible at-home tests) though is intentionally set for manual data input, at least initially, to keep test costs low and to lower the barrier to participation. Otherwise, a simple pairing process can be implemented that would eliminate the need to take a photo of the UPC/QR codes associated with individual testing products. Test ID, date, results, etc. would then be automatically entered into each of the systems.

Thank you for your questions! Please, let us know if there is anything else we can clarify or if you still have further questions.

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