Dot2Dot – Digital Contact Tracing
Dot2Dot is a software tool to help health authorities trace and isolate people carrying an infectious disease.
The Problem with Manual Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is used to help control infectious diseases. It’s the process by which a health authority identifies people who might have been in contact with a person carrying an infectious disease. When combined with isolation of infected individuals, contact tracing can be very effective in containing and stopping a disease outbreak.
Unfortunately, the current process used in the UK is not computerised. Instead it relies on paper records which are error prone and not centralised. This makes it extremely costly and time consuming.
Our Solution to Contact Tracing – Dot2Dot
Dot2Dot is a digital contact tracing application, created by Vestigo, and inspired by the story of a girl named Dottie who, as a result of failures of manual contact tracing, went on to develop tuberculosis meningitis. The TB also spread to other organs, causing permanent damage to her brain, lungs and eyes.
Development of Dot2Dot is underway right now. It is not yet a usable system, but we expect it to be ready for initial testing in mid-April. If you have practical experience, or need contact tracing, we’d be very interested to hear from you.
Important: Dot2Dot is not necessarily an immediate solution for the COVID-19 epidemic, although it might become a solution for some countries or situations – see more here.
How is contact tracing undertaken currently?
To do contact tracing, the first infected person will be asked a set of paper-based questions to try and establish their regular movements in the last three months. Staff then classify the locations and set about trying to find other people who might have met the index. The whole process is documented on paper.
What is wrong with current contact tracing?
The current process is flawed – paper records are error-prone, and there is too much dependence on human interpretation and fallible human memory. This methodology is massively susceptible to human failures, is extremely costly and time consuming.
What needs to happen?
Paper based questionnaires need to be disposed of. Reliance upon human interpretation and fallible human memory must cease. Instead, we need to turn to technology. Dot2Dot digitises tracing to eliminate errors and make the whole process much more efficient.
Dot2Dot can help focus efforts on the most high-risk and vulnerable contacts that otherwise would have been missed. The contact tracing process can also be accelerated by integrating data resources such as Mobile GPS logs, Mobile Phone Logs, Bank Details – but in democracies privacy concerns make this difficult.
It’s simple – digital contact tracing can save lives!
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Vestigo is a joint venture company formed by Martin Green, owner of Blueberry, and Faye Grundy and Dan Howe. The goal of the company is to develop an economical and efficient digital contact tracing application which can be used worldwide to fight infectious disease.
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Phone: 0121 285 0202