Contact Tracing App: How Otago Polytechnic Alert Level 2 will track down Covid-19 spread

Contact Tracing App. Image|Courtesy

Several technology companies are developing mobile applications that will help in tracing down the spread of coronavirus.

As the world prepares to adopt to the New Normal, Otago Polytechnic in the US have developed a contact tracing app so easy to use that other organisations in the ITP sector have adopted it.

According to the Voxy, Otago Polytechnic has moved to Alert Level 2 and is set to reopen its campuses for learners on Monday 18 May.

This move requires the implementation of stringent and effective contact tracing protocols –and with the use of its App, the institute is set to adopt the New Normal.

While using the App, an individual is required to check in and out of each building they visit, and keeping a record of people they have met.

The mobile phone application (supported by Android and IOS) was developed, tested and completed by mid-April.

Several institutions have taken up Otago Polytechnic’s offer to share with them the Microsoft PowerApp based solution, which has been made open source to the sector.

"We made it available to others who hold the appropriate Microsoft 365 software license," Steven Turnbull, Otago Polytechnic Chief Information Officer, explains.

The CEO further explains that, "A person coming to our campus would open the app and select their location from a menu that comprises all our buildings, then check in to that specific site. They would then note whom they’d met or come into contact with.”

"Simplicity of use is the key. The app is basically an electronic diary that records a person’s daily contacts on campus."

"The app also has a geo-fencing function, meaning that should they forget to check out of the same building, it will alert them to do so. The data comes from the app in real-time to a central secure store where we can, if required, contact everyone that has been recorded as a contact with the affected person"

He assured that public that the App does not monitor the personal details of the users.

"However, people need to be assured that we are not monitoring them. The data of their on-campus activity is stored, yes, but it would only be used in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19."

If adopted, this App can be useful as different governments across the world look for ways to adopt to the New Normal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned that the Coronavirus pandemic could go on for a lifetime until a vaccine has been found.

See also: Kenyans faults government for allowing in flights from China

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