What We’re Doing

What We’re Doing - background hands

Project Inception

Dot2Dot was inspired by the daughter of Faye Grundy, one of the founders of Dot2Dot 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. Together with Martin Green, the CEO of Blueberry, they identified the need to digitise the contact tracing process to drastically improve the current process.

Project Goals:

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis, currently infects one-quarter of the world’s population, with a 5–15% lifetime risk of falling ill from the disease.

The symptoms of active TB disease are very similar to COVID-19 – amongst them, a cough and fever – which may be mild, leading to delays in seeking care, thereby spreading from person to person through the air by coughing or sneezing. A person needs only to inhale a few of the bacterium to become infected.

Current contact tracing for the disease is conducted using paper-based questions to try and establish a history of movements. However, this process is flawed – paper records are error-prone, not centralised, and there is too much dependence on human interpretation.

The aim of Dot2Dot was therefore to improve upon the currently accepted method of contact tracing through the use of technology. Our goals are:

Build a prototype contact tracing system as quickly as possible

Promote discussion of the topic, and collect feedback from people with experience they can share

Develop a core, functional system that can be used for:

  • Small scale contact tracing – e.g. TB outbreak
  • Contact tracing in countries with fewer resources

The most important point is that we want to generate some debate and discussion. We are software developers – we have ideas on how this might work, but we need epidemiologists and people with real contact tracing experience to help us make the best possible tool. Contact us here.

It would be fantastic if our efforts were able to play some part in efforts to control SARS-CoV-2. But the scale of that problem is so large in major countries we’re not sure it can – see here for further discussion. On the other hand, Dot2Dot might be appropriate for smaller countries or independent islands who can’t afford the fees charged by big medical companies.

We also hope that Dot2Dot could be used post-COVID by small local teams for tracing situations like a small-scale TB infection. If this is of interest, please contact us here.