Can the corona virus be defeated by mobile applications?
Newly released coronavirus transmission results could be used to develop mobile applications that enable instant contact tracking in record time. Rapid development and widespread use of such apps could significantly slow the transmission rate of the disease.
A research team from the internationally recognized University of Oxford has reviewed the possibilities of a Corona app as a mobile application for instant contact tracking and comes to the conclusion that such an app would be very helpful if many people installed it. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Science".
Mobile application for contact tracking is urgently needed
"We need a mobile contact tracking application to help healthcare providers control coronavirus transmission, target interventions, and ensure human safety," said Professor Christophe Fraser of the University of Oxford in a press release. If corresponding apps are developed as quickly as possible, this can help to significantly slow down the transmission rate of COVID-19.
Traditional contact determination is too slow
“Our analysis suggests that about half of the transmissions take place in the early stages of the infection before showing any symptoms of the infection. Our mathematical models make it clear that traditional approaches to identifying public health contacts provide incomplete data and cannot keep up with the pace of this pandemic, ”said the expert.
How would the app work?
The concept of the mobile application has been adapted so that it no longer has to use the location data of the person using it, but uses a special version of Bluetooth to log all users of the application who they have come close to in the last few days.
App would inform people at risk
If you are then infected, these people are immediately and anonymously alerted and asked to isolate themselves. If users of the app decide to share additional data, they could also help health services identify trends and take targeted countermeasures.
Advantages of the app
A mobile app could slow transmission at any stage of the epidemic until vaccines and antiviral treatments are widely available. It could also be used to enable a safe transition from restricted movement. Such an application could also help reduce the serious social, psychological and economic impact caused by the extensive contact restrictions.
Unnecessary isolation could be removed
The app could warn people at risk early, but it can also remove isolation if it is clear that we have not come into contact with anyone who is infected. In this way, a wider recurrence of the coronavirus in the community could be avoided in the future.
Public trust must be promoted
However, the scientific study also underscores the importance of strict ethical standards that must underpin the successful and appropriate use of cellular technology to combat the coronavirus pandemic. With transparent and comprehensive ethical supervision that guarantees genuine public trust, it would be possible to both save lives and protect civil liberties, according to the research team. The app must enable secure data storage and protect privacy. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Luca Ferretti, Chris Wymant, Michelle Kendall, Lele Zhao, Anel Nurtay et al .: Quantifying SARS-CoV-2 transmission suggests epidemic control with digital contact tracing, in Science (published March 31, 2020), Science
- Controlling coronavirus transmission using a mobile app to trace close proximity contacts, University of Oxford (Published 3/31/2020), University of Oxford