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Mobile apps: a powerful tool for safety in the new normal

Tracking infections and their geographical location are of paramount importance in managing the transmission of a contagious disease. The manual ways of collecting data and tracking numbers in similar situations, which was in use until the recent past, is been an extremely labour-intensive activity, rife with opportunities for error. Digital technology (track and trace applications on mobiles) has proved to be a game-changer in the current pandemic.

Manual processes are long, complicated and can be flawed. The interviewee may not remember or know everyone they came into physical contact with. And even if they do, it may not be possible to trace each person. To compound the hazard, the tracers put themselves at risk through their proximity to likely carriers as they navigate complicated encounters with people who have been traced.

Today, contact tracing apps are being developed and deployed across the world fall into two broad categories:

    The centralised approach takes data from your phone and stores it on a central system that ‘trusted experts’ can access, using data gathered in ways they think most useful.
    The decentralised approach, which is at the heart of the recent partnership between Apple and Google. This aims to put the user in control and minimise the risk of privacy violations, producing alerts for them automatically with no intervention from a third party.

For the most part, apps rely on the short-range Bluetooth connectively that usually comes with smartphones. Bluetooth enables the phone to keep a log of everyone a person has come into close contact over a specific period, provided those people also have a similar and compatible app. If one of them has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and this has been registered with the app, the technology can alert all the people who have been linked. The app will notify these contacts, allowing them to take appropriate action, such as getting tested or undertaking quarantine. Users can be alerted without knowing the identity of the ‘positive’ case.

While the technology itself cannot stop the spread of the disease, it plays a vital role in educating and empowering people to be aware of their surrounding and take the right measures to minimise the impact. The advantage of this technology is that it can help people avoid spreading the disease they may have been potentially exposed to it without physically having to track them down.

One such solution that combines health data with travel data to build a monitoring system and provide real-time updates is Liberty and Passage.

Liberty & Passage developed by Access Anywhere is a total outbreak management system that combines a plethora of cutting-edge technologies on a single platform. Liberty & Passage is an outbreak management solution for individuals, organisations and the entire travel industry.

Extremely versatile, it can be deployed across various sectors including airports, cruise lines, immigration and tourism boards. Its ease of use, flexibility and scalability means it can be a significant tool for organisations in almost any sector to restart their business safely.

Liberty & Passage, using AI and ML, has been designed to help provide relevant timely information and build the confidence required to restart free movement between countries and continents. It gives travellers confidence when crossing borders and assurance of authenticity to authorities when processing foreign visitors at borders.

The application is of high value in the corporate world as it can help check the spread of the virus within the workforce. It is able to identify high-risk employees through data analysis and constantly review their health records to ensure their daily well being.

It is technological innovations like this that will instil in individuals and nations the confidence to manage the pandemic better and move forward on their path to recovery. Outbreak management systems will be the key to mitigating risk and enhancing safety in everyday life.

For more information on how the Liberty Solution works, please visit www.libertyandpassage.com

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