Contact tracing has become an increasingly popular topic as the world searches for ways to battle COVID-19. The primary goal of contact tracing is to decrease the amount of people who are infected by someone who already has COVID-19.
Contact tracing looks at who infected individuals have come in contact with and who they in turn have had contact with, to try to prevent the spread of infection. Countries, such as South Korea and Germany, who have already started their reintegration processes have found success with increased contact tracing.
Why is Contact Tracing Important?
In addition to helping with successful reintegration in other countries, contact tracing has concrete data to prove its worth.
MIT Technology Review found in a study that “If [an organization] successfully detected 90% of symptomatic cases and reached 90% of their contacts—and tested all of them regardless of whether they had symptoms—it could reduce transmissions by more than 45%.”
These results are staggering and highlight the importance of having an effective system in place for contact tracing, but it is unlikely that any system will be successful without the appropriate tools to manage it.
In order to build an effective contact tracing program, the CDC recommends striving for a program that does the following:
- Trace and monitor contacts of infected people
- Support the quarantine of contacts
- Expand staffing resources
- Use digital tools
Tracing and monitoring contacts of infected people is the basis of contact tracing. You must not only monitor contacts, but you must also notify them of infection, or potential exposure, to COVID-19. It is essential to keep accurate and standardized records to preserve the integrity of contact tracing.
Supporting the quarantine of contacts means informing people that they need to quarantine and providing alternative lodgings when necessary. This can help stop the spread of the virus.
Expanding staffing resources is crucial because you need a large team to help manage the demands of contact tracing efforts. There should be enough workers at the call center to support the community you’re trying to contact trace in.
Finally, digital tools can help support all of these three components of contact tracing. They can support in the collection of data, the management of quarantined individuals, and they can help call centers run smoothly with the appropriate number of employees.
Using Technology to Support Contact Tracing
Veoci has developed a system, already in use by the City of New Haven and multiple other partners, that aids in the success of contact tracing. The system relies on standardizing communication and data collection through the use of forms.
Contact tracers know exactly which questions to ask and how to record the data they are gathering. The data is then aggregated and reported on dashboards to help public health officials detect trends in the information.
This system is also incredibly secure. Permission settings can make it so people can only see the information absolutely crucial to fulfilling their assigned role.
Tools like Veoci can help organizations and jurisdictions successfully contact trace, which helps aid in the battle against COVID-19.
Contact Tracing for the Future
Digital tools can play a large role in the success of contact tracing and can help you get started with your contact tracing program. The CDC recommends obtaining a tool that “may expand reach and efficacy of contact tracers.” Veoci goes beyond this criteria and also provides security for the data that is being collected. Choosing the right tool for contact tracing can really bolster the success of your program.