Design

New software aims to reduce the spread of COVID-19

15th July 2020
Lanna Cooper

Watkyn has announced the launch of ContactPath. According to the company it is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, this innovative COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing software enables health authorities and others (e.g., colleges and universities, businesses, etc.) to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, including future pandemics. In addition, the software helps identify potential outbreaks and facilitates support services to be provided for those in quarantine.

"Our first imperative is to protect the health of our communities. But clearly we need to reopen the economy and get everyone back to work and school quickly. How can we do both? Contact tracing is the answer while we await a reliable form of immunisation or treatment," said Phillip Dennis, Principal, Watkyn.

The CDC defines contact tracing as 'the process of interviewing individuals who have been infected with a disease, identifying close contacts that they may have unknowingly exposed, and providing those contacts with the information needed to monitor their own health and prevent the continued spread of the illness.'

According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), 30 contact tracers are needed for every 100,000 population ('States Are Short the Contact Tracers Needed to Emerge Safely from Coronavirus Lockdown', The Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2020). With a US population of roughly 330 million, that would mean nearly 100,000 contact tracers are needed to ensure rapid notification of close contacts after exposure.

ContactPath fills the gap by allowing a dramatically smaller workforce to perform at a superior level. Built to capture and process data as recommended in the CDC's 'Health Departments: Interim Guidance on Developing a COVID-19 Case Investigation & Contact Tracing Plan', and to comply with privacy and data security regulations, ContactPath streamlines the workflow for users, enabling data to be collected quickly and entered manually or imported from other sources.

Moreover, while ContactPath provides an extensive menu of fields for data capture, it offers the flexibility of easy customisation by allowing organisations to add additional fields to meet their own requirements. It can be used easily by remote or field workers from any device with Internet access.

With ContactPath, organisations can:

  • Intake new cases, collect demographic, contact, residence, and work information.
  • Record information about movements and contacts.
  • Track symptoms and test results.
  • Build reports and charts easily.
  • Visually identify clusters and outbreaks.
  • Notify people of suspected exposure to the coronavirus using SMS, e-mail, or voice.
  • Manage caseloads and backlog with role-based dashboards.
  • Create different interview types with customisable questions.

"As we watched this crisis unfolding, we realised that smartphone exposure notification apps were never going to replace skilled person-to-person contact tracers," Dennis said. "With our decades of combined experience in building software that improves business processes, we engineered ContactPath to be powerful and complete, yet flexible, easy to learn, and simple to use in the fight against the coronavirus."

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