WHAT IS “CONTACT TRACING” IN PUBLIC HEALTH?

WHAT IS “CONTACT TRACING” IN PUBLIC HEALTH?

Courtesy: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

When a patient tests positive, you make a list of everyone they came in close contact with. Then, you find those people and make sure they self-isolate before infecting others.

That sounds straightforward, but contact tracing a new patient typically takes three days, which is “an insurmountable hurdle in the U.S., with its low numbers of public health workers and tens of thousands of new cases every day.”

ELSEWHERE: South Korea used high-tech contact tracing to tame its outbreak. The government compiled GPS data, credit card swipes, and other info into a public log showing where COVID-19 patients had traveled.

Some countries (including the U.S.) are trying other methods, including looking at smart-phone location data and developing Bluetooth systems that provide warnings if you’ve crossed paths with an infected person.

PROBLEMS: Despite its widespread use in places like Singapore, contact tracing has raised concerns about privacy and governments following citizens’ whereabouts.

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PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlHCLXv2HQs

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQBO_DHBtzw

And so, Contact Tracing is a term you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming weeks.

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6 Responses

  1. CTing

    When they’re not developing competing products, Apple and Google are jointly building the software architecture for coronavirus contact tracing apps.

    Anti-troll measures: The two companies are implementing verification measures so a user’s self-reported positive COVID-19 diagnosis can be cross-referenced with public health data. This could address concerns that bad apples (or hypochondriacs) could log fake COVID-19 diagnoses.

    Proximity: Per social distancing protocol, smartphones will trade beacons over Bluetooth if they’re within six feet of each other.

    Phase 2: The companies plan to eventually roll out OS-level contact tracing in the coming months. If you opt in, you’ll be notified of potential exposure to COVID-19 even without downloading the app.

    Implementation: Only public health authorities can build apps on top of the Apple/Google software. We’re at least a few weeks out from that. But once the ball is in their court, health agencies will face their next big challenge: making sure people download the app.

    Zia

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  2. Update: Catalyst’s Rapid Response Open Call for BWH Emergency Department

    In response to the pandemic, Catalyst’s Health Tech Responds to COVID-19 platform is supporting the deployment of Rapid Response Open Calls (RROCs) that connect healthcare providers with immediate needs to the digital health community. Catalyst created the RROC after an emergency physician from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Emergency Department engaged Catalyst, citing an urgent request for provider-facing, text based platforms that can help healthcare professionals self-monitor symptoms of coronavirus, report burnout, and access helpful resources.

    In a 7-day application period, Catalyst received an overwhelmingly positive response with more than 80 quality submissions. BWH was able to evaluate the submissions through a streamlined process and 5 innovators were selected to demo their solutions to the BWH ED team. We are proud to announce the following finalists:

    CAREMINDr is a remote monitoring system using cell phones. The customizable app includes programmable buttons and links phone numbers to create direct connections to care resources.

    Prime Dimensions: Prime Dimensions’ Visolyr is a SMART-on-FHIR app that evaluates likelihood of burnout, monitors COVID-19 symptoms, and provides access to helpful resources.

    Resilient: RestArt is a Cloud AI that monitors biometric, behavioral and user input data and measures stress levels. In addition, resilient ag collects biometric data such as body temperature for physiological signal monitoring.

    Rose: Smarter Mental Health: Rose offers a HIPAA-compliant, AI-driven health platform that uses smart, remote monitoring and patient self-help tools to improve engagement and care continuity outside in-person sessions.

    Sudo Technologies: Sudo Technologies has a text-based workflow platform that allows you to easily design and deploy workflows that collect user input and push the results to existing systems of record.

    Veronica

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  3. TESTING

    If HHS issues “federal recognition that dentists may administer point of service tests,” visiting the dentist will become safer than a walk in the park. If not, it’s the wild west, round two.

    Actually, if we can eliminate covid from dental offices through daily testing of everyone who enters, dentistry should be able to return to a pre-covid world. Very few other business entities will be able to do this.

    Here’s something to consider: Along with increased testing, there will soon be intensive contact tracing. If a dental office becomes a source of infection, their community will be warned – and deservedly so.

    Darrell Pruitt DDS

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