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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Bank rules force staff to turn off NHS COVID-19 tracing app at work

By Iain Withers and Sinead Cruise

LONDON (Reuters) – Branch staff at some of Britain’s biggest banks say rules that require them to store phones in lockers while at work are putting them at undue risk of COVID-19 from colleagues and customers, as they cannot use the country’s tracing app.

Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, along with rival TSB, are among those advising employees to deactivate the NHS Track & Trace app during office hours, when they are not allowed to keep phones on their person.

Some banks ask staff and cashiers to store phones away to prevent leaks of sensitive customer data, although this is not formally required by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

Under current government guidelines, users of the NHS app are advised to disable bluetooth or pause the app when away from their phones to avoid false notifications.

Other companies have told staff to pause the app

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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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New York and New Jersey launch COVID-19 contract tracing apps

New York and New Jersey joined a handful of other states in launching contact tracing apps for COVID-19.



a woman holding a cell phone: People with masks walking while looking at their phones.


© Provided by Live Science
People with masks walking while looking at their phones.

On Thursday (Oct. 1), the two states each launched their own contact tracing apps called “COVID Alert NY” and “COVID Alert NJ,” respectively. These apps, which keep users’ identities anonymous, are based on a new technology developed by Google and Apple. They use bluetooth to connect to nearby phones and alert users if they’ve been in close contact with someone who has been infected with the coronavirus. 

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From the very start of the pandemic, contact tracing has been an important part of helping to stop the spread of the virus. Contact tracing involves identifying people with COVID-19, figuring out who they came in close contact with, and notifying all of those people so that they can

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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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“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



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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.

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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

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