Major Data Corporations to Announce Breakthrough to Keep COVID-19 From Spreading… Again

Patrick Hickey

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

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With the Centers for Disease Control set to announce today new guidelines to allow some who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 to return to work, utilizing specific instructions, the greater issue of how to prevent a recurring spread of COVID-19 in future months is on the horizon. A partnership of some top data providers, aggregators, and those who process and utilize that data are about to offer, along with the potential antibody the best solution to controlling future spread of the disease.

Currently Google, working with states like Georgia, is providing a voluntary system to monitor those exposed to or who believe they may have symptoms of the virus on a voluntary basis. Most experts agree that high tech monitoring could keep Americans from enduring another rapid spread of COVID-19, which Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned will be a continued threat even after the current bout begins to subside.

But the question for states like Georgia, Florida and others in the region is “How to utilize data without the state ‘spying’ on their citizens?” Experts say without a truly comprehensive monitoring system, a likely recurrence of the virus– accompanied by wholesale local or statewide “shelter in place” orders– is again highly possible. That could be the one-two punch that the nation could likely not withstand.

It is no secret that companies collect data on our movements with cell phones, our surfing on the web and all other manner of electronic activity. While many in surveys say they object to such data mining, they continue to sign “boilerplate” agreements when they opt in for their various services which allow for just such mining. And opinion polls have indicated support for bold measures during the pandemic. A strong balance is needed.

Health data integration and services company CMA, partnering with Syncsort (Pitney Bowes Software), plan to use “retrospective data” in combination with the voluntary self-monitoring system Google is offering to take already gathered cell phone location information and match prior potential exposure to COVID-19 positive patients. “It could potentially be done down to the time, place and even period of exposure” says Ken Romanski, president of CMA. Those who meet the set criteria by health experts would receive an anonymous digital notification (much like Amber Alerts) to their cell phone explaining their potential exposure and who to contact for guidance.

The system would be based on random numerical coding for individuals who test positive in the future, and the cell phone info would remain coded as well.

The system would not track anyone in real time but would rely on information previously gathered and already available in the commercial market.

States are just now learning of the technology, which reportedly is expected to be available in a matter of weeks, and which would be long before wholesale antibody testing might be possible to track COVID-19.

The same system, as well, could be used to track future outbreaks of other potential viruses and communicable diseases. “The goal would be to stop future outbreaks early-on, with limited self-isolation and no need to shutdown entire areas such as a states, large geographic areas, school systems or economies,” Romanski says.