Commentary: COVID-19 contact tracing apps: Choose the technology wisely

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

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Commentary: A blockchain task force would position SC for the future | Commentary

2020 has been a historical year for challenges we hoped we would never face, a year dominated by a pandemic leading to countries shutting down and introducing economic uncertainty to millions across the globe. The U.S. equity markets have crashed only to climb back to record levels despite this pervasive unemployment and economic uncertainty.

Many argue that this market anomaly is a centrally managed conspiracy benefitting only the wealthiest among us. Instead, I would propose that the source of the rebound is the quintessentially American belief in our worldwide leadership in technological innovation.

We are living in a time where innovation and technological advances are happening at a speed that outpaces the federal government’s ability to lay the regulatory groundwork that hinders our ability to implement these time-critical solutions. Since the mainstream introduction of distributed computing and blockchain technology in 2009, hundreds of projects have been formed to test, develop

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