Join us as we discuss the development of digital contact tracing, the modelling of its effectiveness & the engineering of the contact tracing phone app.
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- Dr Robert Hinch
- Adam Fowler
SARS-CoV2 emerged in late-2019 in Wuhan and quickly spread causing a global pandemic, with current estimates of total fatalities exceeding 20 million. When no vaccines are available, a standard way to control an infectious disease epidemic is to isolate cases and then trace close contacts of the case to search for onward transmissions. This process will often take multiple days and is very effective in controlling some infectious diseases. However, for SARS-CoV2 the time between being infected by the virus and being able to transmit it is only a few days, with some transmissions occurring prior to the individual developing symptoms. Therefore, for contact-tracing to be effective for SARS-CoV2, it must be very rapid with contacts being identified and notified in hours as opposed to days. This requirement led to the creation of digital contact tracing, whereby contacts between individuals are recorded by Bluetooth signals being exchanged between mobile phones. In this talk we discuss the development of digital contact tracing, the modelling of its effectiveness and the engineering of the phone applications.
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