Contact tracing app launches to safely return people to work

By Leila Hawkins
The app uses streaming analytics to inform colleagues of transmissions...

A new corporate COVID-19 contact tracing app has launched in the US, aiming to get people back to work safely. 

Produced by ScaleOut Software, it consists of a mobile app and a streaming service that can keep track of thousands of daily employee interactions. 

The contact tracing app makes use of new software technology for streaming analytics that enables thousands of data sources to be tracked simultaneously. Using the company's employee database, it can track colleagues who work in the same department and link this information to a positive test result. Users just need to enter the interactions they have with people outside their department; as these are judged to be less frequent they are tracked for two weeks and then removed after exposure is no longer likely.

Once someone employee notifies the app of a positive COVID-19 result, everyone in the workplace who's had direct or indirect contact with them is informed via the app's 'ScaleOut Digital Twin Streaming Service™', a cloud service that tracks data from multiple sources at the same time. 

The app aggregates data so that managers can identify emerging trends within seconds. For example, they can see the number of positive results in each department, allowing them to isolate hot spots and take action to prevent an outbreak. 

The app goes as far as letting users track details of business travel including taxis and flights, and meals out at restaurants. This way businesses are also kept informed of any local infections. 

The tracing application runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud and connects to a mobile app used by each individual on their smarphones. It can also be customised to meet different needs of each company. 

“Since ScaleOut Software’s founding nearly two decades ago, we have continually advanced our streaming analytics technology to help customers tackle complex problems and now to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic” said Dr. William Bain, ScaleOut Software’s CEO and founder. “Our contact tracing application should prove highly valuable in precisely identifying affected employees and enabling quick action to contain an outbreak across work environments.”

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