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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PwC: Blockchain technologies could boost the global economy US$1.76 trillion by 2030 through raising levels of tracking, tracing and trust

LONDON, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — New analysis by PwC shows Blockchain technology has the potential to boost global gross domestic product (GDP) by US$1.76 trillion over the next decade.  

 

 

That is the key finding of a new PwC report Time for trust: The trillion-dollar reason to rethink blockchain,  assessing how the technology is being currently used and exploring the impact blockchain could have on the global economy. Through analysis of the top five uses of blockchain, ranked by their potential to generate economic value, the report gauges the technology’s potential to create value across industry, from healthcare, government and public services, to manufacturing, finance, logistics and retail.

“Blockchain technology has long been associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but there is so much more that it has to offer, particularly in how public and private organisations secure, share and use data,” comments Steve Davies, Global Leader,

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Tracker Ventures Corp. Announces LOI to Acquire Majority Stake in Contakt World, an Emerging Digital Contact Tracing Company

Letter of Intent Designed to Strengthen its Technology and Resources through proposed 80.5% Acquisition of Contakt World

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / October 6, 2020 / Tracker Ventures Corp. (“Tracker” or the “Company”) (CNSX:TKR)(OTC PINK:TLOOF)(FRA:B2I), an analytics software company listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an arm’s length non-binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) to acquire a majority interest in Contakt LLC (“Contakt World”), a technology company modernizing the contact tracing process through next-gen data integrations, strategic health partnerships and respect for user privacy to empower and build mutual trust within communities (the “Acquisition”). The Acquisition is expected to close on or before December 31, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

Contakt World’s unique platform acts as a “sole source” provider of digital contact tracing and ethical health surveillance for government agencies, institutions, enterprises, and small businesses. It meets and exceeds

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Tracker Ventures Corp. Announces LOI to Acquire Majority Stake in Contakt World, an Emerging Digital Contact Tracing Company – Press Release

Letter of Intent Designed to Strengthen its Technology and Resources through proposed 80.5% Acquisition of Contakt World

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / October 6, 2020 / Tracker Ventures Corp. (“Tracker” or the “Company“) (CNSX:TKR)(OTC PINK:TLOOF)(FRA:B2I), an analytics software company listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an arm’s length non-binding letter of intent (the “LOI“) to acquire a majority interest in Contakt LLC (“Contakt World“), a technology company modernizing the contact tracing process through next-gen data integrations, strategic health partnerships and respect for user privacy to empower and build mutual trust within communities (the “Acquisition“). The Acquisition is expected to close on or before December 31, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

Contakt World’s unique platform acts as a “sole source” provider of digital contact tracing and ethical health surveillance for government

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Saints’ situation exposes flaw in NFL’s contact tracing system

Before the season, the NFL boasted of a new contact-tracing technology that would keep players from getting too close together and that would make it easier to work backward to identify others who need to be tested and/or evaluated in the event a player tests positive. During the season, there’s an apparent problem with the so-called “Proximity Recording Device.”

As noted in the immediate aftermath of the news that Saints had learned late last night that fullback Michael Burton had tested positive for COVID-19, the contact-tracing process identified three people who required further testing, etc. The Saints identified on their own four others who were sitting close enough to Burton on the flight to Detroit that the Proximity Recording Device should have recorded their proximity to Burton. It should have, but it didn’t.

It’s important for the league to be willing to take a hard look at its protocols on

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Nova Scotia to adopt national COVID-19 smartphone application for contact tracing

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia will become the latest province to adopt the federal government’s COVID-19 smartphone application, Premier Stephen McNeil confirmed Thursday.



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© Provided by The Canadian Press


“We’re signing off on it,” McNeil told reporters following a cabinet meeting. “It will be one piece of how we deal with the issue of COVID.” He said the application will available in the near future. Nova Scotia currently has two active cases of COVID-19.

The COVID Alert app, which has been introduced in several provinces, notifies someone when they have been in close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 and has shared their results.

The app is active in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Quebec also announced it will make the application available for use in the province shortly. 

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia announced Thursday that improvements are being made to ensure people with  COVID-19

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Contact Tracing by Avaya Named a 2020 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award Winner for Exceptional Innovation

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 1, 2020–

Avaya (NYSE: AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, announced today that its Contact Tracing solutions have won a 2020 Pandemic Tech Innovation Award for Exceptional Innovation. The award from TMC Labs recognizes hardware, software, devices/peripherals, applications and services that help society and business function effectively in the face of challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact Tracing has been widely recognized as a key factor to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on communities, and enable organizations, businesses and people to open up and return safely to work, to school and to recreation. Among approximately 80 percent of public and private organizations planning to reopen with a safe return, 25 percent are implementing some sort of Contact Tracing program or plan. Contact Tracing from Avaya, leveraging its innovative contact center and collaboration solutions, helps organizations effectively collect,

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As cases rise, Quebec to adopt federal COVID-19 alert contact tracing smartphone app



a close up of a woman


© Provided by The Canadian Press


MONTREAL — Quebec is getting ready to introduce the federal government’s COVID-19 contact tracing application in the coming days as infections in the province remain on the rise.

Premier Francois Legault told reporters Tuesday in Quebec City the app will be deployed after officials concluded it would take too long to introduce the made-in-Quebec application they had hoped for.

Quebec reported 799 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, along with a spike in hospitalizations.

The province has had problems with contact tracing, with health officials in Montreal reporting difficulties tracking down people who were potentially exposed.

Health Minister Christian Dube said Quebec officials looked more closely at the smartphone application during a meeting with Ontario counterparts 10 days ago. While Ontario isn’t fully satisfied, Dube said he hopes Quebecers will use it in large numbers.

The

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Apple and Google to Make It Easier to Opt In to Virus Tracing

Several state governments may soon send residents an alert asking them to turn on “exposure notifications.”

On Tuesday, Apple and Google said they would make it easier for states to use their new technology that detects phones that come close to one another and can notify people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

States that sign on will be able to send a notice directly to smartphones asking people to opt in to the technology. Previous versions of the technology had required people to seek out a state health agency’s app.

The new approach could spur the popularity of such virus alert technology in the United States by significantly lowering the hurdles for its use. Maryland, Virginia, Nevada and Washington, D.C., already plan to use the new system, Apple and Google said, and about 25 other states were exploring using the earlier app version.

In a statement, Apple

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NHS Covid-19 app: England and Wales get smartphone contact tracing for over-16s

By Leo Kelion & Rory Cellan-Jones
Technology reporters

Related Topics
  • Coronavirus pandemic

NHS Covid-10 app

image captionUsers will be told to self-isolate if the app determines they are at high risk of being infected

People living in England and Wales are being urged to download the government’s contact-tracing app following its official release.

NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.

It also has a check-in scanner to alert owners if a venue they have visited is found to be an outbreak hotspot.

Anyone aged 16 and over is being asked to install the app on to their smartphone.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the app “helps us to find more people who are at risk of having the virus” that human contact tracers are unable to find.

“Everybody who downloads

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