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Digital Contact Tracing Technology

CRS report via LC – Digital Contact Tracing Technology:Overview and Considerations for Implementation, May 29, 2020: “Contact tracing” is a public health measure used to control disease spread. Trained public health workers assist patients with an infectious disease recall their close contacts within a given time frame, notify them of potential exposure, and provide advice to patients and contacts. Given the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, some public health authorities are automating part of the tracing process with smartphone applications (apps). Some apps take advantage of Bluetooth signals to track individuals proximity to one another, otherwise known as “digital exposure notification (DEN)” Bluetooth allows short-range wireless communications between electronic devices. Apps may also be used by public health authorities to enable “digital contact tracing” (DCT), which may also use location data…Discussion of U.S. digital contact tracing has identified a number of challenges related to its use, including Bluetooth limitations, app effectiveness versus personal privacy, interoperability,and coverage. Each poses a different challenge to effective use of digital tracing capabilities…”

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