Exposure notification is a privacy-preserving digital solution designed to help public health departments amplify and augment their contact tracing efforts. This digital health tool allows for decentralized, anonymous bluetooth proximity detection between individuals.
This smartphone-based system provides timely, actionable health information when an individual has significant close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 without collecting data about their identity or location. Exposure notifications can empower individuals to take appropriate precautions based on their risk of exposure to this infectious disease, allowing them to follow local public health recommendations and access resources more efficiently to stop the spread of COVID-19.
When a person receives a positive diagnosis, a contact tracer will work with them to notify others they may have exposed in recent interactions.
Covid Watch helps notify all of the people an infected person was in close proximity with, even if they don't know that person. It happens anonymously.
Covid Watch has been fully vetted by the Arizona State Department of Public Health and the University of Arizona. It is the official app for the state of Arizona, and the first Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) app to pilot in the United States. It has undergone rigorous testing, and everything from signal strength calibration to the dynamic risk scoring model, has been fine-tuned and studied through original research.
We have developed a highly sophisticated risk model that is based on how infection spreads in a community - depending on when people get infected, the viral load, whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, their probability of infection, and their risk to others. We use the raw data provided to us by the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) APIs. But we add our own unique, tested and validated approach to modeling risk on top of it. We are in constant contact with Google / Apple and stay ahead of the curve on what the APIs provide and what is needed for the models to be useful.
Depending on the number of cases in a particular region and whether there is an outbreak, different types of public health interventions and quarantine recommendations are appropriate. The risk thresholds in Covid Watch can be adjusted on the fly, allowing public health authorities to customize settings for who gets alerted based on their risk level and what recommendations they receive.
Every region has unique needs. Every county in a state has different case loads, different capacities for testing, and different utilization of resources. Covid Watch is built from the bottom up to accommodate these often competing needs. Even within a single jurisdiction, the app experience, risk thresholds and messaging can be completely customized by state, county, city, university campus, etc.
Covid Watch allows users to select and change their region. The same app, with the same data can be interpreted through the lens of the region they are currently in. Allowing local public health departments to completely customize how the local community interacts with them, at the same time allowing a simple, unified experience for the end user regardless of where they are. For tourism and for general mobility of the population as they move across regions, this makes it very easy to focus attention on what is truly important and unique about each region.
As the original pioneers of the anonymous protocols that led to the development of exposure notification technology, we have a strong commitment to innovation and making this digital health tool available to those who need it most. We continue to invest in adjacent areas like hardware integration, privacy-preserving systems for the identification of hotspots and wearables to expand the reach of exposure notifications beyond smartphones.