There has been significant interest in leveraging smartphone apps for contact tracing, a public health strategy that involves tracking people who are COVID-19 positive to identify disease hot spots. Traditionally this is done by workers on foot and over the telephone, and we know this labor-intensive method works — it has helped in the elimination of smallpox and in curbing the spread of sexually transmitted infections. However, the efficacy of the app-boosted method is still unknown.
Unfortunately, pressure to ease lockdowns has led to a mad dash to develop and use such apps for COVID-19, resulting in a wildly different array of options. As public health departments are pushed to follow suit, we must be careful about which technologies we adopt.
Several dozen states and companies have already started developing and using digital tools. In the spring, Utah released an app, called Healthy Together, which was built by a social
Thermal imaging cameras, UVC sterilizing wands, smart HVAC systems, upgraded conference room audiovisual tools: The coronavirus has inspired developers and property owners to invest in a host of new technologies to keep their tenants safe.
But all this technology comes at a price, and it’s likely not in any owner’s budget to invest in it all. Also, these solutions are not one-size-fits-all, and what’s right for one building may not work for the tenants in another. So how can property owners determine what tools are right for them?
“No one knows how long this is going to last. It could be a six-month problem or a six-year problem,” said Ken Wilkinson, founder and managing partner of Layer 10 Consulting, a Denver-based workspace technology consultancy. “This is why building owners need to make sure they are investing in technology that will not only be valuable to their properties now, but long