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How can digital solutions improve our process for contact tracing?
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24 months ago
Small pic contact tracing coronavirus

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, most of society has become familiar with the term "contact tracing." This is a little like detective work for contagious diseases. In a nutshell, trained professionals interview those who have been infected to find out who they may have been in contact with since contracting the disease. Then, these people are informed they may have been exposed, and are encouraged to self-quarantine to stop the further spread of disease.

At Fort Bragg, the existing procedure for contact tracing is as follows:

  1. When a positive COVID-19 case is identified, a public health nurse contacts the individual to obtain details on symptoms, risk factors, contacts, etc.
  2. A contact tracing team follows up with those who were in contact with the infected individual to obtain more information and provide guidance/education to those who may have been exposed. 
  3. There can be up to several dozen contacts that need to be reached per positive case, and this process is carried out and recorded using phone calls and spreadsheets.

See the attached material for more context on existing processes for contract tracing.

We are interested in exploring digital alternatives to revamp and modernize the contact tracing process. 


Please describe a new contact tracing process that could be implemented using digital tools and solutions to replace phone calls and spreadsheet reporting. Specifically:

1) How would people with positive cases use your idea to report symptoms and share a list of contacts with public health professionals?

2) How would your solution help contact tracing teams manage the process of reaching out to those who may have been exposed to gather information & provide guidance?

3) How would your solution record information to replace the existing method of creating manual spreadsheets?

NOTE: Be specific about what digital technologies your solution would use (ex. SMS, apps, chatbots, etc.) and where possible, try to include automation as part of your solution. 

Your solutions should propose not just imagined technology but how and when that technology is used by whom, based on the diagram provided. If proposing a new technology solution (e.g. an app) be sure to explain how your solution is different/better than existing apps or solutions that people are already using.

You are encouraged to research how other countries outside of the USA are successfully conducting their contact tracing. Feel free to include that research to strengthen your idea!

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • 1-10 Scale
Additional Materials:
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