Is ResQ Tracking Me?

Is ResQ Tracking Me?

That is a question we get a lot from first time users of the ResQ app. Already working long hours and odd shifts, some trainees respond defensively to the idea of installing an app that automatically records their time in the hospital.

In reality ResQ is designed by a resident for residents to reduce the administrative burden of accurately reporting work hours to comply with ACGME guidelines — thereby making trainee lives better. And it does this without sacrificing the privacy of the trainee.

 

That is a question we get a lot from first time users of the ResQ app. Already working long hours and odd shifts, some trainees respond defensively to the idea of installing an app that automatically records their time in the hospital.

In reality ResQ is designed by a resident for residents to reduce the administrative burden of accurately reporting work hours to comply with ACGME guidelines — thereby making trainee lives better. And it does this without sacrificing the privacy of the trainee.

 

 

But how does it do that?

But how does it do that?

The key to preserving privacy is at the core of the ResQ algorithm. The algorithm is designed so that no location data ever leaves your phone. The location data that is collected by your phone is processed exclusively on the device to determine whether or not you are inside a WorkZone. It is only the ID of the WorkZone and the time IN or OUT that is ever sent and stored in the ResQ system. We don’t keep your location data.  We don’t sell your location data. We don’t deliver your location data to your administrators. In short, we don’t track you.

 

The key to preserving privacy is at the core of the ResQ algorithm. The algorithm is designed so that no location data ever leaves your phone. The location data that is collected by your phone is processed exclusively on the device to determine whether or not you are inside a WorkZone. It is only the ID of the WorkZone and the time IN or OUT that is ever sent and stored in the ResQ system. We don’t keep your location data.  We don’t sell your location data. We don’t deliver your location data to your administrators. In short, we don’t track you.

 

Then why do you need “Always On Location”?

Then why do you need “Always On Location”?

After many stories have emerged of freemium apps massively collecting and exploiting user location data, Apple has become much more aggressive about providing its users tools to control access to their location data. Starting with iOS11 all location-aware apps are required to offer three options to the user. These are:

1. Don’t allow location

2. Allow only while using the app

3. Allow always

After many stories have emerged of freemium apps massively collecting and exploiting user location data, Apple has become much more aggressive about providing its users tools to control access to their location data. Starting with iOS11 all location-aware apps are required to offer three options to the user. These are:

1. Don’t allow location

2. Allow only while using the app

3. Allow always

Some trainees wonder why the app will not work when they chose option #2 (only while using the app). In this case the ResQ algorithm will only be able to process location data when the user phone is unlocked and the app is open. Aside from the obvious issue of trainees forgetting to open the app each time they arrive and depart a WorkZone, there are other technical issues that arise when the app has access to location data for only short intervals. For example the kind of accuracy required to determine whether a user is inside a WorkZone isn’t always available (particularly when the user is inside a large commercial building such as a hospital).

The ResQ algorithm has been optimized to overcome these issues (while also minimizing battery drain) but requires access to longer duration location data that is only available when the app is in the background.

So that’s it. While we require access to your location to execute our mission, we do not track your movements nor save any of your location data on our servers. We believe that is your data and we believe in protecting your privacy.

 

Some trainees wonder why the app will not work when they chose option #2 (only while using the app). In this case the ResQ algorithm will only be able to process location data when the user phone is unlocked and the app is open. Aside from the obvious issue of trainees forgetting to open the app each time they arrive and depart a WorkZone, there are other technical issues that arise when the app has access to location data for only short intervals. For example the kind of accuracy required to determine whether a user is inside a WorkZone isn’t always available (particularly when the user is inside a large commercial building such as a hospital).

The ResQ algorithm has been optimized to overcome these issues (while also minimizing battery drain) but requires access to longer duration location data that is only available when the app is in the background.

So that’s it. While we require access to your location to execute our mission, we do not track your movements nor save any of your location data on our servers. We believe that is your data and we believe in protecting your privacy.