Common people were caught off guard by the novel COVID-19 virus, which has been incapacitating the world since early 2020. This is even though infectious disease specialists have been sounding the alarm for years about the impending threat of a global pandemic. As a result, it is now necessary for everyone to adjust to the “new normal,” which entails adhering to safety precautions that are designed to maintain everyone’s health in good standing.
Before the year 2020, very few people will have likely heard of the term “contact tracing.” According to the definition provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is a control measure that requires people who have been diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify themselves as having that disease. Those individuals who have spent more than fifteen minutes within proximity (within six feet) of an infected person should also follow these instructions. By distinguishing between those who have and have not come into contact with the infection in question, the provision of this information assists in the prevention of the spread of disease.
Marking a person’s personal information and the time they entered and exited a venue using a pen and paper is the method of contact tracing that is the most straightforward and straightforward. If a person has visited the same location at the same time as other people who have tested positive, the keeper of the records should warn that person that there is a possibility that they could be in danger. Instructions about health and quarantine should be included in this notification. It is possible to carry out this procedure manually by making use of spreadsheets and phone calls. On the other hand, given that we live in a digital age, many organizations have developed COVID tracing software specifically for people who use smartphones. In the following, we will go over a few of the more notable ones.
PlayStudio’s Covid Trace
The Battle Born State of Nevada saw an immediate increase in the number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 after it decided to reopen its gambling establishments. As a result, PlayStudio decided to release a COVID-19 tracking app to reduce the potential negative effects on one’s health that can result from frequenting casino floors. PlayStudios is a multinational video game development company with offices located on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The business collaborates with both MGM Resorts International and Activision Blizzard and has a strategic partnership with the latter. Both are titans in their fields and dominate the competition. The PlayStudios app is a straightforward piece of software that can determine in a matter of minutes or hours whether a user has been within three meters or nine feet of an infected person.
Employees can log their test results and report them to the HR officers of their companies via their mobile devices thanks to a dedicated piece of software called Preworkscreen that was developed specifically for use on mobile devices as part of a self-health check. Through the use of this application, users can also provide information regarding their current vaccination status, thereby contributing to an environment that is safer for everyone. Employers can personalize the health assessment questionnaires that are provided by Preworkscreen. It also gives them the ability to send polite reminders to employees via email or text message, encouraging them to finish these tasks. So, all data is up to date. The creator of Preworkscreen, which can also be found on the Apple Store, is a company known as InfoBeyond Technology LLC.
In February of 2020, Ramesh Raskar, who is an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab’s PathCheck program, established the PathCheck Foundation. It is now a network of over two thousand volunteers, the majority of whom are individuals working in the field of information technology who are donating their time to develop software solutions that assist people in coping with the COVID-19 global health crisis. The government agencies of Wyoming, Hawaii, Guam, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Teton County, and Cyprus have all decided to utilize PathCheck’s mobile applications. It makes use of the identical technology for the two applications that were described before it. That is to say, it allows users to exchange their Bluetooth keys with one another after they have been near one another for at least fifteen minutes or within six feet. The PathCheck source code can be accessed by the general public, and it has been reviewed by some of the most prominent security experts.
In a manner analogous to that of PathCheck, the charitable organization COVID Watch was established in February of 2020 to combat the pandemic. Obviously, without compromising the users’ privacy in any way. Students from the University of Waterloo in Ontario and Stanford University in California worked together to develop the COVID Watch app. PathCheck was created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but the app was conceived through a joint effort between the two universities. COVID Watch was made available to the general public in Arizona in August of 2020. This was made possible because the COVID Watch team collaborated with individuals from the University of Arizona on research aimed at enhancing the accuracy of projected infection risks based on anonymous Bluetooth data. The non-profit organization COVID Watch ceased operations close to the end of the year 20200, but the open-source technologies it developed are still being utilized by various health organizations.
The Department of Health in the Australian government was responsible for developing the COVIDSafe app. Based on the protocol known as BlueTrace, which was developed by the government of Singapore. On April 14, 2020, COVIDSafe made its initial public announcement, and just over a fortnight later, it became available for download. This mobile application, in contrast to the other mobile software on our list, alerts users if they have come within a little less than five feet of another user who is infected with the virus. Those who use this application have the option of allowing state officials to use their information to get in touch with other individuals to whom they may have passed on the COVID-19 virus.