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#53963 - 04/13/20 11:15 AM COVID-19 Contact Tracking?
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Some countries are already beginning to set up systems for tracking personal contacts to be used for tracking COVID-19 (and future pandemic diseases?) control. Realistically, once in place, any such system has potential for lots of other uses which raises legitimate concerns about personal freedom not to mention apocalyptic visions of George Orwell's 1984 and "BIG BROTHER" government control.

In the U.S., Apple and Google have teamed up to propose a Privacy-Protecting Contact Tracking system which sounds like a contradiction in terms. If you are interested in how they propose to pull that off you can read the draft technical documentation.

NOTE: Unlike proposals in some other nations Apple/Google's proposal is strictly OPT-IN tracking.
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#53988 - 04/14/20 12:17 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I wonder if it's necessary or would be particularly productive.

It's a need born exclusively of this particular plague's peculiarity of asymptomatic carriers, a peculiarity that may never again arise, and its opt-in-ness combined with the nowhere nearly accomplished or accomplishable 100% testing that would be necessary to make it effective even if opt-in were mandatory make it too little too late as well as possibly counterproductive in todays control-crazy, paranoid, social media ruled world.

And if you can get it a second time as has been suggested by some cases in China...

I say let's just let the thing run it's course and statistic mania be damned. We'll never know the true numbers under ANY circumstances.
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#54030 - 04/14/20 04:58 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Contact tracking is widely used technique with lots of diseases new and old. As a university lecturer, I was tested for TB twice as a result of contact tracking when a student was found to have an active case of TB. A tracking system like Apple/Google are proposing might have saved me at least two trips to the Dallas County Health department (one for the test and one to get it read) and 5 days of quarantine in each instance, on the other hand it might also have exposed me to many others.

The effectiveness of any voluntary system is, of course, how many volunteers participate and Apple users seem to be surprisingly willing to participate. I don't know the current figures but Apple's COVID-19 app has tens of thousands of downloads, and a large number of Apple Watch user/owners have downloaded Apple's Medical Research App and are apparently participating actively in one or more of the voluntary medical research programs therein. You could argue that Apple/Google's system would leave out a lot of the lower economic groups where pandemics find vulnerable victims which is true to an extent, but from work with the homeless I know that most of them have cellphones and a surprising number of those are smartphones.

Of course with COVID-19 and any subsequent epidemics/pandemics the ready availability of accurate testing (which the current administration is apparently unable or unwilling to comprehend and/or deliver) is also a critical component. And it could potentially provide early warning of where a renewed outbreak might spread. That will remain necessary until an effective inoculation is developed and enough people are either immune or have been inoculated that "herd immunity" kicks in.

Finally medical researchers are convinced COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic because modern mobility and transportation make it inevitable they will spread and that this will happen more often than in the past.
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#54145 - 04/18/20 10:04 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The UK has announced they will be using Apple's contact tracking technology to trace COVID-19 infection. On a side note 60% of the sailers on the CVS Theodore Roosevelt who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic, which brings Arties' point about testing back into focus. Until there is a high level of testing of everyone we will not have a clear picture of how widespread the COVID-19 infection is and at this point not all of those who have symptoms have access to testing much less those who are asymptomatic. The epidemiologists are at best making semi-informed guesses.
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#54164 - 04/19/20 08:13 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
OK, I hadn't thought this all the way through when I first posted, but now I think I"ve got my head wrapped around it despite the almost incomprehensible (to me, anyhow) tech jargon in your linked doc.

For the benefit of all, this is how I THINK it works (totally simplistically, obviously). Please correct me if I go wrong.
  • If you and I pass in the street and we're both opted in, our cell phones exchange untraceable "tokens."
  • If one of us is positive, I assume that the other will somehow be notified, but how and when isn't spelled out.
  • If neither of us is positive, both our tokens go into a database somewhere, and if one of us shows symptoms within 10 days the other is notified of exposure.
Does that sound correct?

If that's the way it works, failure to opt in and asymptomatic carriers will, as has been previously noted, be major shortcomings, but what bothers me more is
Originally Posted By: joemike's linked doc for which I can't figure out how to post a URL
The Contact Detection Service is the vehicle for implementing contact tracing and uses the Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) for proximity detection of nearby smartphones, and for the data exchange mechanism.

Since, as far as I can tell, minimum Bluetooth range is 10 meters/33 feet, which far exceeds social distancing guidelines, the system appears to be subject to a plethora of false contacts which could ultimately lead to a large number of false positive notifications going out when the guy with whom you "had contact" but was really across the street shows symptoms.

Or can Bluetooth range be modulated for the app?
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#54166 - 04/19/20 09:21 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
As I understand it you are essentially correct in how Apple/Google intend the system to be used, but the UK for example doesn't have the same privacy protections we enjoy in the U.S. so the implementation and what transpires when someone tests positive may be significantly different depending on the national ethos.

My assumption is there is an expectation that a large enough swath of the population will opt in whether they have been tested or not and whether they are asymptomatic or not to make it effective. Then if and when someone tests positive the data can be used to identify persons who were exposed to the carrier and have them tested and in turn test those they have been in contact with. Used in conjunction with accurate and effective tests, social distancing, voluntary or involuntary isolation, and hopefully at some point effective treatment this technique could have a major impact in flattening the curve. It is a tested and proven tactic in epidemiology.

As far as bluetooth range goes, newer devices are capable of ranges in the order of 100 feet maybe more. The wristbands at Walt Disney World are low power bluetooth and enable Disney to know where every person is within the parks as well as unlock resort doors, act as park and transportation passes, and pay for purchases. The batteries (if there are any) never need recharging. Whether the range can be modulated or not I don't know but location can be triangulated with far more accuracy than range modulation.
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#54181 - 04/20/20 12:35 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
It is a tested and proven tactic in epidemiology.

It all makes perfect sense, but...

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
As far as bluetooth range goes, newer devices are capable of ranges in the order of 100 feet maybe more. <snip> Whether the range can be modulated or not I don't know but location can be triangulated with far more accuracy than range modulation.

But the app specifically ignores location, and under any circumstances, location is meaningless in this context, so, as I said, unless they can modulate the range of the Bluetooth on which the app runs the system will generate an enormous number of "false contacts," and those will, in turn, ultimately lead to an enormous number of people being told that they're at risk when they haven't even been near the person who's come down with symptoms.

And that will compromise the entire system.

That appears to be an aspect of the system that's curiously missing from the abstract.
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#54255 - 04/22/20 10:33 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
On the occasions where I have had to be tested for TB the only contact I had with the infected person was from the podium at the front of an 80 seat lecture hall. Everyone signed up for the course was tested, whether they had attended the class or not. Of the 76 tested, 2 students showed positive on the TB skin test (about the average for the same number of people tested randomly for TB) but both were subsequently cleared by x-ray and blood tests. However, 5 persons in another class the original vector had been in tested positive on the skin test and 4 were confirmed to have TB. Those four were immediately placed in treatment and each became another vector for contact tracking. I was mildly inconvenienced by the test but relieved at the result. I ran into one of those who tested positive a year or so later and they were grateful they had been tested and gotten into treatment before any serious symptomology developed.

Contact tracking, intentionally spreads a wide net and with luck a high number of negative tests, and few positives. Some false positives are inevitable given the limits of testing. The worst possible testing outcome is a false negatives as that prevents the infected person getting into treatment and they continue to unwittingly spread the disease. Sadly some (many? most?)of the testing methodologies being used for COVID-19 are proving to be "unreliable" resulting in high levels of both false negatives and false positives.
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#54272 - 04/22/20 09:20 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Contact tracking, intentionally spreads a wide net and with luck a high number of negative tests, and few positives. Some false positives are inevitable given the limits of testing. The worst possible testing outcome is a false negatives as that prevents the infected person getting into treatment and they continue to unwittingly spread the disease. Sadly some (many? most?)of the testing methodologies being used for COVID-19 are proving to be "unreliable" resulting in high levels of both false negatives and false positives.

This system will result in zillions of false positives if, as it appears, the breadth of its net is defined by the limits of technology rather than the reality/necessity of the situation.

And a lot of people will experience unnecessary anxiety as a result.

And the results will be skewed accordingly.

A follow-up system to track the outcome of all the positives would be useful. I wonder if it's been contemplated?
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#54292 - 04/23/20 01:15 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
This system will result in zillions of false positives if, as it appears, the breadth of its net is defined by the limits of technology rather than the reality/necessity of the situation.

I'm not sure why you say that. A contacted person is NOT a false positive it is simply a data point to be checked and there is no assumption of contagion one way or the other until the contact has been tested. Zillions of false positives would not be the result of contact tracking rather of faulty testing methodologies.

Originally Posted By: artie505
And a lot of people will experience unnecessary anxiety as a result.

...and potentially a lot of people will get into treatment early enough to escape the worst ravages of the disease and won't be shopping at Walmart and spreading the disease to potentially hundred of others. Thorough contact tracking and rapid accurate testing could prevent another social and economic shutdown this fall when COVID-19 is believed will resurge.

Given what might be accomplished a day or two of concern seems a miniscule price to pay for the long term benefit of the world around us and should you be tested positive, the potential for personal reward is huge.

Originally Posted By: artie505
And the results will be skewed accordingly.

Agreed, it might skew the course of the pandemic by significantly reducing its effect on the nation and the world.

Originally Posted By: artie505
A follow-up system to track the outcome of all the positives would be useful. I wonder if it's been contemplated?


I am not privy to the thinking in the White House, Albany, Austin, Bangkok, London, Beijing, Rome, CDC, or WHO but I can't imagine that would not be in their plans. But that is far outside the realm of Apple/Google's API.

(I struck out the White House because I have not seen any indication of thinking, other than "How can I profit from this pandemic?" going on there.)
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#54352 - 04/27/20 01:51 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Backtracking just a bit, you can't use tracking TB as an optimistic forecaster of the results of tracking COVID.

TB can be successfully treated, so tracking saves lives, while COVID isn't vulnerable to any know treatment: it's both an irresistible force and an immovable object.

In fact, if you can even get yourself tested for COVID and you test positive, the only treatment at this point is "Go home, see if you develop symptoms, and if they get bad enough, go to the hospital."

Agreed that having a tracking system in place may ultimately prove beneficial, but at today's date it's merely an experiment in technology.

Tracking COVID at today's date isn't likely to save so much as one single life!

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
This system will result in zillions of false positives if, as it appears, the breadth of its net is defined by the limits of technology rather than the reality/necessity of the situation.

I'm not sure why you say that. A contacted person is NOT a false positive it is simply a data point to be checked and there is no assumption of contagion one way or the other until the contact has been tested. Zillions of false positives would not be the result of contact tracking rather of faulty testing methodologies.

In my context, there are two types of false positive:
  1. A recorded contact with a person outside of the 6 foot "zone of danger."
  2. An alert that one of those people has tested positive.
And since Bluetooth extends ~300 feet, considerably farther than the danger zone, using it IS a faulty testing methodology, and the system WILL generate a zillion false positives.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
And a lot of people will experience unnecessary anxiety as a result.

...and potentially a lot of people will get into treatment early enough to escape the worst ravages of the disease and won't be shopping at Walmart and spreading the disease to potentially hundred of others. Thorough contact tracking and rapid accurate testing could prevent another social and economic shutdown this fall when COVID-19 is believed will resurge.

Given what might be accomplished a day or two of concern seems a miniscule price to pay for the long term benefit of the world around us and should you be tested positive, the potential for personal reward is huge.

Sure, if a treatment is ever developed, early warning will certainly save lives, and accurate early warning will do so expeditiously, but all that's no more than wishful thinking at the moment.

At the moment, the lack of universal testing will combine with the false positives and result in MUCH anxiety...more than once in some instances. And it's actually got the potential to overwhelm the system.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
And the results will be skewed accordingly.

Agreed, it might skew the course of the pandemic by significantly reducing its effect on the nation and the world.

No, the "spread" of the disease will be wildly exaggerated by all the false positives.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
A follow-up system to track the outcome of all the positives would be useful. I wonder if it's been contemplated?

...that is far outside the realm of Apple/Google's API.

Wouldn't follow-up tracking have to rely on and interact with the Apple/Google database?

You've got a thread of rosy optimism interwoven with the stark, dark reality of the situation.

I hope your faith is warranted.

More: Unless, of course, they can manipulate the range of their Bluetooth to limit it to 6 feet or so. tongue
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#54372 - 04/28/20 08:03 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Participation is voluntary so don't volunteer, but don't vilify those who do choose to participate for what they see as "the greater good".
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#54384 - 04/29/20 01:22 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I think "vilify" is an extremely poor choice of words.

Quote:
vil·i·fy | ˈviləˌfī |
verb (vilifies, vilifying, vilified) [with object]
speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner: he has been vilified in the press.

I merely questioned whether your optimism about the system is reasonable under the circumstances as we've been understanding them.

Your participation in light of its apparent potential to cause you much personal anxiety is beyond admirable...not at all worthy of vilification.
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#54396 - 04/29/20 09:57 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Vilify was a poor choice of words on my part.

Quote:
Your participation in light of its apparent potential to cause you much personal anxiety is beyond admirable

Thanks for the admirable comment, but I do not see the API as causing me anything more than possible mild annoyance, and potentially saving lives — mine included. Pretty much the same reaction I had to the mandatory TB testing when I was exposed to someone with active Tuberculosis.
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#54410 - 04/29/20 06:16 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
alternaut Offline

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Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Contact tracking is widely used technique with lots of diseases new and old.
The effectiveness of any voluntary system is, of course, how many volunteers participate

Indeed, but the issue extends quite a bit further. In all the talk about COVID tracing/contact apps an important element is often missing, and that is that the social aspects of such apps are just as critical as the technical ones, if not more so, because the apps cannot control for them. This is discussed in Stefan Volk’s article Coronavirus contact-tracing...ne does. He isn’t the only one to emphasize this.

These and other aspects of such apps not related to privacy concerns were mentioned a week earlier in an interview with Lokke Moerel, specialized in technology and international law This tech professor is very...oncerns (in Dutch; see Google Translate if needed). Note that Moerel lists some of the ways users can sabotage the apps if circumstances push them too far.
At the same time similar objections were voiced by experts critical of a number of such apps the Dutch government considered for possible use: Seven corona apps after mes... about'. Following consultations, all apps were rejected as proposed.

In a Simulation of the effect of corona apps it was shown that in themselves these apps will have a minimal effect, and that a combination of social and technical strategies is needed. Bottom line: such apps can be useful, but are a far cry from what most people think they can achieve. And remember, that's without considering any privacy issues.
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#54413 - 04/30/20 10:53 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: alternaut]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: alternaut
And remember, that's without considering any privacy issues.

AMEN
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#54424 - 05/02/20 12:36 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Quote:
Your participation in light of its apparent potential to cause you much personal anxiety is beyond admirable

Thanks for the admirable comment, but I do not see the API as causing me anything more than possible mild annoyance, and potentially saving lives — mine included. Pretty much the same reaction I had to the mandatory TB testing when I was exposed to someone with active Tuberculosis.

I'll answer that and then walk back my answer.

With the 100 meter Bluetooth range we've been assuming you'd be at risk of getting constant "false positives" from people around the corner, across the river, and 23 stories up in the high-rise you walked past. You could wind up having to self-quarantine every two weeks because of "contact" with people with whom you had absolutely no contact, i.e. "much personal anxiety."

BUT! Following one of alternaut's links led me to a doc that mentioned that one system the Aussies rejected had a Bluetooth range of only 9 meters, so Bluetooth range apparently can be modulated, and even though that range is still excessive, it hugely mitigates the "false positive" issue.

But, of course, not the privacy issue.

All in all, alternaut's linked docs present a pretty depressing picture of the prospects of getting a handle on COVID, let alone doing so without compromising individual privacy.
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#54428 - 05/02/20 07:19 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
MacManiac Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Quote:
All in all, alternaut's linked docs present a pretty depressing picture of the prospects of getting a handle on COVID, let alone doing so without compromising individual privacy.

Either pretty depressing or a pretty realistic picture of a very complicated circumstance with more variables unclear at this point than are clearly understood yet.....I'm not yet ready to surrender an optimistic outlook, but neither am I going to ignore the realities as they are currently understood.

I live in a rural setting where distancing protocols are easy to comply with, but next week I have to go to a major metropolitan area for a Dr appointment referral at a higher-level university medical center. I'm taking my RV to their parking lot where I can enforce safe distancing protocols without concern for outside factors....call it a lifeboat. I will be wearing my face covering when in public, maintaining safe distance guidelines, washing my hands and NOT touching my face.....and when I'm finished and go home, I will maintain my RV domicile in the driveway for the next several days (5 at a minimum) so that I mitigate the possibility of bringing an unwanted viral visitor home to my wife. We are both in the age group and health-factor demographic which has elevated risk.....and we both want to be around for a good long while yet!

There are those who consider such conservative protocols extreme, constraining and unnecessary - it is really inconvenient.....and if it were only those individuals at risk, I would say "go ahead" and expose yourself - however, the exposure is not to the individual, but to the rest of the community at large....no individual becomes infected without potentially spreading the infection to a large percentage of those they come in close contact with.....and no individual has the right to willingly and consciously expose the rest of their community to such risk as this virus presents without their consent. Calling this pandemic a conspiracy or saying it's just not true is criminal in it's potential risk to life.

Tools to manage and mitigate the risks of this pandemic are being built, but they are not going to be perfect. The joint effort to create an app which can passively produce a contact matrix electronically using existing technology is only a first step....and yes, personal privacy concerns will be a valid offsetting factor in whether that tool can be used in a free society without surrendering a freedom (at least at the current state of development). The question then becomes, what price?....and that question won't be answered here.
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#54461 - 05/03/20 10:55 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: MacManiac]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
Tools to manage and mitigate the risks of this pandemic are being built, but they are not going to be perfect.

And beyond that, according to alternaut's linked docs, the opt-in rate in places where systems have been implemented hasn't been sufficient to generate enough data to yield meaningful results, including in Malaysia, where privacy is said to be of less concern than in other places.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#54629 - 05/19/20 03:55 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
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#54631 - 05/19/20 07:42 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
MacManiac Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
I like it!!!! They have spent a huge effort to address privacy and misuse issues....and it will fill a very real interim need to bridge the time until vaccine and herd immunity can be achieved. Once COVID-19 has been tamed, the need for this contact tracing function should be eliminated.....now let's get the NSA conspiracy comments rolling! blush
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#54637 - 05/20/20 12:11 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It sounds like it's been well thought out.

The issue I raised earlier about Bluetooth range is apparently addressed by

Originally Posted By: MacRumors
...the system knows Eric was exposed to COVID-19 for 10 minutes on Tuesday, and that he was standing close to the person who exposed him based on the Bluetooth signal strength between their two phones, allowing the app to provide the appropriate information.

I assume it would be dependent upon the app that uses the API to track 2nd (and later) generation alerts, i.e. if Eric subsequently tests positive, to record it as an extension of the alert he received rather than as an independent event, which would be useful info.

Under any circumstances, though, even though an alert can't really help you, it can potentially contribute to slowing the disease's spread by removing you from circulation. (It would be wonderful if the alert could tell you whether the person who exposed you was standing in front of you or behind you, and even better, if se was wearing a mask! tongue )

And someday it will hopefully be able to tell you to get a shot to protect yourself.

Side question: Is it impossible for some reason for Apple to inject the API into older versions of iOS as a security update, similar to what they do with macOS, in order to reach a wider audience?
_________________________
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In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#54651 - 05/20/20 02:19 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
And someday it will hopefully be able to tell you to get a shot to protect yourself.

The Apple Watch already warns wearers of potentially dangerous heart conditions, sends the wearer recommendations to see a doctor and together with the Health app on the iPhone provides doctors and first responders with amazingly complete medical histories. In some cases unless the wearer responds to the watch/phone prompting the devices will call 911 and the wearer's designated emr=ergency contacts. So why not make a recommendation to seek medical attention for Coronavirus exposure?
Originally Posted By: artie505
Is it impossible for some reason for Apple to inject the API into older versions of iOS as a security update, similar to what they do with macOS, in order to reach a wider audience?

Good question! It would appear to depend on several factors...
  1. does the API rely on hardware functionlity that is not available in earlier versions of Bluetooth?
  2. how much re-design and re-work would be required in earlier iOS versions?
  3. how long would it take and how much would it cost to run every previous version of iOS software and compatible iOS devices through a complete release cycle including alpha and beta testing to assure there wold be no unintended consequences from the changes?
  4. given iOS upgrades/updates are generally very widely and rapidly adopted are there enough iOS devices out there still running outdated iOS hardware or software to make the effort worthwhile?
  5. given the upgrade rate and breadth of iOS update/upgrade acceptance, would adding something as esoteric as a "tracking API" encourage enough non-upgraders to upgrade (and install the necessary app) to make the development cost and effort worth-while?



Edited by joemikeb (05/20/20 02:28 PM)
Edit Reason: two questions
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#54717 - 05/23/20 11:22 PM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
The Apple Watch already warns wearers of potentially dangerous heart conditions, sends the wearer recommendations to see a doctor and together with the Health app on the iPhone provides doctors and first responders with amazingly complete medical histories. In some cases unless the wearer responds to the watch/phone prompting the devices will call 911 and the wearer's designated emr=ergency contacts. So why not make a recommendation to seek medical attention for Coronavirus exposure?

Because at the moment, there's nothing a doctor can do for a person who's been exposed other than pass on advice that's already common knowledge. It wouldn't hurt, but it would be redundant, and it would put an additional burden on already overworked doctors.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
Is it impossible for some reason for Apple to inject the API into older versions of iOS as a security update, similar to what they do with macOS, in order to reach a wider audience?

Good question! It would appear to depend on several factors...

Thanks.

All good reasons why it's not likely to happen.

Also, factoring in the expected opt-in rate of vintage iOS users would probably tend to make the effort even closer to pointless than it immediately appears to be.
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#54719 - 05/24/20 06:31 AM Re: COVID-19 Contact Tracking? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Because at the moment, there's nothing a doctor can do for a person who's been exposed other than pass on advice that's already common knowledge. It wouldn't hurt, but it would be redundant, and it would put an additional burden on already overworked doctors.

Your governor's younger brother Chris, made the point very emphatically on his CNN show a couple of days ago that a common tenet among people of all faiths is, "we are our "brother's keeper" and have an obligation to look out for the welfare of those around us not just ourselves. Finding out you have been exposed to COVID-19 should — if nothing else — encourage us to redouble our efforts at self isolation, social distancing, use of masks, etc. to prevent inadvertently spreading the disease to others. To me, that is reason enough to be warned of exposure.
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