Work on COVID-19 Monitoring by Cristiano Tapparello

Cristiano Tapparello, research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who also serves as the director of software engineering for the innovative UR Health Lab led by chemical engineering alumnus Dave Mitten ’88 ’92(MD), spent some long hours back in March helping the lab develop the chatbot technology now familiar to many of us as Dr. Chatbot, which enables the University to screen its employees daily for symptoms of COVID-19.

Initially devised to screen incoming calls to the Medical Center’s COVID-19 Hotline, the technology was then adapted to also screen essential Medical Center employees during the lock down. That iteration of Dr. Chatbot is now being extended to non-Medical Center employees and students as well.

The technology now has been further adapted so that citizens throughout our 13-county region can voluntarily respond daily to a brief questionnaire about whether they have symptoms, as part of the ROC Covid-19 project. This will be an important tool to help regional health officials quickly detect any uptick in cases — within individual zip code areas — as the region continues a phased reopening of businesses and other activities. Please consider participating in this daily screening as well; with enough participation, we lessen the chances of having to shut down the entire region again.

Cristiano, the front end designer for the interactive displays you see at these chatbot sites, has also been working with Mt. Hope Family Center research associate Christie Petrenko to create the first mobile phone app for caregivers of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

(From Hajim Highlights, published by the University of Rochester, 22 June 2020)

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