eBay has patented a system for faster detection and notification of the spread of communicable diseases

Communicable diseases, such as common cold, strep throat, pink eye, whooping cough, flu, malaria, and Ebola, are infectious diseases that can be transmitted from an infected person to another person directly or indirectly. In public health practice, the earliest detection of a disease outbreak offers the best opportunity to mitigate its effects. Accordingly, public health surveillance is employed to monitor public health status and recognize at the earliest possible time, the appearance of a disease or a change in its distribution or incidence. Early intervention allows for early recognition of affected individuals, initiation of treatment, and initiation of post-exposure mitigations among the exposed population.


eBay has patented a system for faster detection and notification of the spread of communicable diseases. Mobile device or a wearable device captures physiological parameters of a user and shares the same with a service provider. The service provider collects physiological information, such as body temperature and blood pressure from one or more users via a device. Location data is also provided to the service provider. The service provider then analyzes this combination of data to track exposure to and risk of contracting a disease. In various embodiments, a user may report themselves as being ill or diagnosed with a specific disease. 

Image Credit - Health Care Business Today
Image Credit – Health Care Business Today

Based on the information collected, a map is prepared which indicates hot zones of infection, location of infected persons, the location of persons at risk for infection or disease, and also show the spread of infection or disease over time. Just by visual representations, a user can learn of disease locations and the rate of spread of disease. 

Image Credit - CDC
Image Credit – CDC

Further, the system helps curb disease before it spreads, and can further provide a way of calculating risk of disease to people. The system evaluates location, movement, and intersection of persons to identify a potentially infectious person, make a decision on whether to isolate a person, determine other persons exposed to the potentially infectious person, and identify the first infected person in a population. 


Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160132652
Publication date: 12 May 2016
Filing date: 11 Nov 2014
Inventors: Richard Chapman Bates; Bryant Luk; Robert He; Christopher Diebold O’Toole; Jennifer Brenner; Ananya Das;
Applicant: EBAY INC