Though for years, infectious disease experts have warned of the looming dangers of a global pandemic, the novel COVID-19 virus took common folk by surprise, debilitating the planet since early 2020. Thus, now everyone has to adapt to the so-called – new normal, which involves following precautions intended to keep everyone’s health in good order.
Contact tracing is a term few people have likely come across pre-2020. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines it as a control measure that entails individuals diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify themselves as such. This same step should also get followed by those that have spent over fifteen minutes nearby (within six feet) of an infected person. Providing this information helps stop the transmission of disease by dividing individuals that have (or may have) been in contact with the infection in question and those that have not.
The simplest method of contact tracing is manually marking personal information and the time of a visit of people that enter/leave a venue. If someone has visited a location in a parallel timeframe with others that have tested positive, the record-keeper should inform that person that he may be in danger. That notification should come with health and quarantine instructions. Of course, this process can get completed manually using spreadsheets and phone calls. However, since we live in a digital age, many entities have developed COVID tracing software for smartphone users. Below, we rattle off a few of the best ones.
PlayStudio Covid Trace
Once Nevada decided to reopen its gambling establishments, the Battle Born State instantly saw a spike in new COVID-19 cases. That prompted PlayStudio to launch a COVID-19 tracing app to mitigate the health risks of visiting casino floors. PlayStudios is a global game developer with offices on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The company has a strategic partnership with MGM Resorts International and works with Activision Blizzard. Both juggernauts in their respective industries. The PlayStudios app is an uncomplicated piece of software that calculates whether a user has been within six feet of an infected person over the last 15 minutes or a day.
Preworkscreen is a dedicated self-health check mobile software that lets employees log their test results and report them to their companies HR officers via their mobile devices. Users can also provide information regarding their vaccination status through this app, helping everyone stay safe at the workplace. Preworkscreen allows employers to customize questionnaires regarding health assessments. It also lets them send out friendly reminders by SMS or email to employees to complete these. So, all data is up to date. InfoBeyond Technology LLC is the developer of Preworkscreen, which is also up at the Apple Store.
Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab, Ramesh Raskar, launched the PathCheck Foundation in February 2020. It is now a network of over two thousand volunteers, mainly IT professionals donating their time to create software solutions that help people navigate the COVID-19 global health crisis. PathCheck’s apps have gotten adopted by governments in Wyoming, Hawaii, Guam, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Teton County, and Cyprus. It utilizes the same technology as the previous two described applications. Meaning, it exchanges Bluetooth keys with other users when they have been around each other for over fifteen minutes or within six feet. The PathCheck code is publicly available, and it has gone through inspections by top security experts.
Similar to PathCheck, the nonprofit COVID Watch got founded in February 2020 to fight the global pandemic. Of course, without putting user privacy at risk. While PathCheck got developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the COVID Watch app is the brainchild of a collaboration between students at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and Stanford University in California. COVID Watch got a public rollout in August 2020 in Arizona, given that its team worked with the members of the University of Arizona on research concerning how to improve the projected infection risk going by anonymous Bluetooth data. Near the end of 20200, the nonprofit COVID Watch shut down its operations, but its open-source technologies continue to get used by health organizations.
The COVIDSafe app got developed by the Australian Government Department of Health. Based on the BlueTrace protocol developed by the Singaporean government. The COVIDSafe app was first announced on 14 April 2020, getting released less than two weeks later. Unlike the other mobile software on our list, this one warns users if they have come within a little less than five feet of infected users. Those that utilize this app can choose to have their information used by state officials to contact parties to whom they may have transmitted the COVID-19 virus.
Other decent COVID tracing apps include ProjectCovid, QuikLAB, NOVID, Private Kit: Safe Paths, and TeamSense.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.