Several states across the US and Canada have lifted their stringent stay-at-home or remote working measures and have reopened their economies. But with a combined population of nearly 400 million, the ability of these countries to anticipate potential outbreaks and uncontrolled spread in time to prevent them could be extremely challenging. This is where contact tracing can be beneficial.
Ever since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders, government officials, healthcare providers, and several decision-makers have scrambled to understand the magnitude and speed of the spread. Temperature scanners, data analytics solutions, COVID-19 health screening applications, etc were widely implemented to identify patients or infected individuals and extract insights. The potential of such infrastructures to apply statistical techniques, cluster detection, temporal-spatial scans, and so forth, led to accurate detection of symptoms. Most applications also clarified the legal implications encompassing privacy and data security resulting in the global recognition of digital technologies. These technical advancements were imperative in assuring the public that returning to normal existence is possible even amidst the pandemic.
Safeguard Public Health with Contact Tracing Applications During COVID
As mentioned earlier, even while recognizing the uncertainties inherent in foreseeing any timeline for returning to pre-outbreak normalcy, most offices, malls, and universities have opened up to the people. The United States and Canada expect to test higher-risk populations on an ongoing basis for the early detection of an outbreak. For this, the extensive integration of a spectrum of COVID-19-monitoring techniques, intending to create an overarching monitoring infrastructure is quintessential.
Given the extremely contagious nature of COVID-19 and the heightened rate of asymptomatic carriage of the disease, solutions that monitor COVID-19-could enhance the ability to predict possible outbreaks and uncontrolled spread in time to prevent them.
There are numerous strategies to COVID-19 monitoring that can be implemented in conjunction with one another. One such monitoring approach was the use of Contact Tracing applications. Though contact tracing has been used prior to the coronavirus pandemic to help control the spread of infectious diseases such as Ebola, SARS, MERS, etc, by public healthcare sectors, it has now become available for the general public as well.
Contact-tracing applications have successfully helped in restraining widespread COVID-19 outbreaks in countries such as Italy, South Korea, and Singapore. These applications have gained widespread recognition because they are accurate and can be easily used by anyone without any difficulties. The Contact tracing application accurately identifies those individuals who have been tested positive for Coronavirus as well as recognizes the other people with whom the infected people have come in close contact. These contacts, their localities, nearby quarantine centres, public health or health department facilities, etc are promptly notified and supported with relevant insights and updates.
There are several contact tracing applications now available in the United States and Canada, but limited adoption, lack of technical updates, and meagre coordination among regions have resulted in their poor performance. Meanwhile, Covid-19 Screening and contact tracing applications from MyLobby provide efficient monitoring and control solutions that can be leveraged by individuals via their smartphones or by enterprises via kiosks. Such innovative contact tracing applications are capable of tracing individuals’ among large gatherings by utilizing a local Bluetooth connection or the Global Positioning System (GPS) for location tracking.
The COVID-19 pandemic, sadly, will be with us for several months, therefore, enterprises and individuals should invest in contact tracing applications as they can improve the pace of response, systematically identifying and immediately alerting contacts.
As the coronavirus pandemic takes its terrible toll, government officials, public sectors, pharmaceutical corporations, and enterprises can find themselves on the horns of a dilemma, contemplating measures to return life to normal. Initially, in response to the massive outbreaks and the danger of overburdening health systems, countries took immediate actions and imposed travel bans and lockdowns. Parallelly, other strategies were set into motion, such as mass public testing and manual contact tracing which required medical or health professionals to collect data in places that had a large gathering. Though these strategies contained the disease and suppressed the spread of infection to an extent, there were several challenges.
Across the country, groups of Americans are taking to the streets protesting the travel restrictions and lockdown. Even offices, parks, and public malls are reopening since the lockdown has heavily inflicted the economy, several businesses are going bankrupt, and employees are losing their jobs. Therefore, the US has decided not to implement lockdowns again despite a surge in Delta cases. Also, one of the severe challenges in the manual contact tracing for COVID-19 is that it significantly relies on whether the confirmed carriers can remember who they interacted with at public places. Moreover, the mutation of COVID-19 has made it almost impossible to manually identify carriers as there are not many symptoms in the initial stages.
Therefore, contact tracing applications and digital solutions are widely accepted as they can tremendously increase productivity, limit exposure of the healthcare workers, and lower infrastructure costs. In several parts of the United States and Canada, these technologies are being deployed to promptly identify cases and notify close contacts, monitor follow-up or medical care, and even be used to notify contacts when the status has changed.
Here are some of the advantages of using contact tracing for COVID-19:
The contact tracing app has the capability to stay relevant and consistent with local health policies concerning that particular region. These applications can be successfully integrated into testing, medical care, or data, and must operate in connection with traditional contact tracing where available.
COVID-19 contact-tracing apps can significantly reduce transmission at the regional level especially if a particular city has more app users. The large numbers of users improve the effectiveness as there is more data to process and more endpoints to evaluate. To increase application adoption, an efficient communication strategy that describes the apps’ role and addresses privacy concerns is imperative. These contact tracing applications are also built considering the user-friendliness and user experiences, such that it is easily accessible to people of every age group, educational background, etc.
3. Helps to quarantine carriers/patients accurately:
The fundamental purpose of the contact tracing application is to immediately identify infected individuals or patients and isolate them to avoid the spread of infection. Since the COVID-19 symptoms change and more mutated delta versions appear, it is important that the application must be regularly updated. The COVID-19 contact tracing application must combine predictive analytics and big data strategies to achieve optimal performance and the algorithm must be ‘tunable’, to adjust to the epidemic as it evolves.
4. Rapid notification and COVID-19 alerts:
Even application users who feel they have the SARS symptoms can update their health status or the areas they visited in the application. This will rapidly notify users in the nearby locations, therefore helping the health department, general public and government officials to quickly quarantine the area. The app developers must analyze and test the app before it is deployed so that they can eliminate any errors or feature delays.
5. Ability to evaluate contact tracing effectiveness:
As mentioned earlier, there are several ineffective and not properly updated contact tracing applications. A good application will be capable of providing the general public with insights that alerts are based on the most reliable data available from the health department. The contact tracing application should therefore implement a transparent tracing algorithm that is auditable, under oversight, and subject to review.
As office spaces and schools begin to reopen, it is absolutely imperative that people leverage COVID-19 Health Screening Applications. Such temperature scanners and contact tracing applications can help create a safe, productive, enjoyable environment and ensure that tracing for COVID-19 is done proactively. MyLobby has reimagined COVID-19 resiliency for businesses and the general public with their line of temperature scanners, health screening, and contact tracing applications. These innovative solutions can significantly improve a facility’s safety and security through a number of efficient features. The contact tracing and screening applications from MyLobby supports privacy rights, GDPR laws, and data-sharing guidelines, ensuring that all regulatory compliances are efficiently met.
Some Other Benefits of Using MyLobby COVID-19 Health Screening Applications:
Easily customizable based on the user’s preference
- Face mask detection using deep learning
- Employees and workers attendance logs are accurately managed
- Visitor logs are tracked and stored
- Instant alert/notification of non-compliant entries
- Integrated temperature screening with face capture
- Improves your facility’s safety and security
- Touchless temperature screening builds the platform for facilities
- Comply with new employee health protocols and data privacy
Several public-health reports show that digital solutions such as Contact Tracing and Health Screening applications have played a pivotal role in the most effective strategies to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions due to the pandemic have digitally transformed several of the traditional barriers that had previously slowed health system investment. Now more than ever in integrated virtual health applications have curated a complete or near-complete continuum of digital and physical services focused on healthcare services. As businesses develop and improve their responses, they must leverage innovative applications to help control the pandemic and ensure safe reopening.