The PACT team has come together with rapid engagement from faculty and research staff all over MIT and Lincoln Laboratory, and from collaborators at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Weizmann Institute of Science, SRI and Brown University, plus a number of individual contributors.

MIT Professor Ron Rivest and Principal Research Scientist Daniel Weitzner

Rivest, Weitzner, and colleagues developed the design for the smartphone-based system. The approach uses inter-phone Bluetooth communications (including energy measurements) as a proxy for inter-person distance measurement. Through some clever applied cryptography and architecture engineering, this system can be used to collect and maintain weeks of contact events which can later be enriched by infection notifications (as specific individuals test positive) leading to exposure notifications to all cell phone owners who have had medically-significant contact (in terms of distance and time) with infected people in the past medically-significant time period (e.g. two weeks). 

All of this can be done without revealing any private information to anyone, except when an infected person chooses to reveal their own identity and personal location trace to public health authorities.

Louise Ivers, MD, MPH, DTM&H, Executive Director, MGH Center for Global Health, Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Ivers plays an advisory role to the group using decades of public health and infectious diseases experience to offer insights on epidemic response to the project leaders


Israel Soibelman, Chief Strategy Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Dr. Israel Soibelman is the Chief Strategy Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. His responsibilities include assisting in the development of Laboratory-level strategic planning, and leading and helping grow external strategic relationships. Prior to his appointment as Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Soibelman served as the Head of the Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Division at the Laboratory, directing programs in homeland air defense, chemical and biological defense, homeland security, and air traffic control.

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Marc Zissman, Associate Head of the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Zissman and his Lincoln Laboratory colleagues are doing the required system analysis, architecture engineering, Bluetooth phenomenology data collection, data analysis, prototype development, testing and eventual technology transfer to industry to permit implementation of the Rivest concept at national scale. Prototypes and demos exist. The prototype system will need to be transferred to and supported by the large mobile operating system manufacturers (Apple, Google, etc.)