A new app uses a community-driven approach to identify close contacts of users
Try recalling who you met two weekends ago. Can you name everyone you met and talked to that day?
Chances are, probably not. And even if you did, there’s a good chance you might not have all their contacts.
These are some of the problems that come up during contact tracing after a COVID-19 case is confirmed. It is a complex and arduous process of interviewing the patient, listing down everything they did in the past 14 days, and identifying every person they had come into close contact with. Yet, it is a crucial step to detect further cases and preventing further possible spread of the virus.
To mitigate these problems, SGUnited, GovTech and the Ministry of Health have come up with a way for Singaporeans to track close contacts should the need arise – through a simple app.
Using Bluetooth, TraceTogether identifies other nearby phones with the app installed. It then tracks when you are in close proximity with these other persons, including timestamps. If the need arises, this information can then be used to identify close contacts based on the proximity and duration of an encounter between the two users.
Faster contact tracing when infection is confirmed
Once an individual is confirmed with the virus, he can choose to allow MOH to access the data in the app to help identify close contacts. While this will not replace the contact tracing process, it is a useful addition – especially when there are problems with recall.