The national CDC website clearly advocates that contact tracing should be “part of a multipronged approach to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.” The site outlines Key Concepts in contract tracing as follows:
Trace and monitor contacts of infected people. Notify them of their exposure.
Support the quarantine of contacts. Help ensure the safe, sustainable and effective quarantine of contacts to prevent additional transmission.
Expand staffing resources. Contact tracing in the US will require that states, tribes, localities and territorial establish large cadres of contact tracers.
Use digital tools. Adoption and evaluation of digital tools may expand reach and efficacy of contact tracers.
A new app in the Apple Store called Syndesy is just that digital tool. All the user has to do is press the Check-Ins button on the homescreen wherever it is that they go. Once that button is pressed, Syndesy does the rest. The app registers the time-, date-, and geo-location of each check-in. If the user becomes infected, Syndesy can generate a report of all the check-ins, and the user can then share that information with friends, family and community to notify them of their exposure. Those exposed to the infected user can self-quarantine while notifying their own friends, family and community of where they have been since being in contact with the infected user. If those exposed to the infected user also use the app, this is as easy as generating their own Check-Ins Report to have an accurate record of where they have been since they were exposed.
If Syndesy is adopted by communities, it would obviate the need for #3 above on the CDC’s Key Concepts for Contact Tracing. There is no longer a need for “large cadres of contact tracers” to interview the infected, and to thus rely on the memory of someone who is now ill and under stress. More reliable, less stressful and much easier is the press-of-a-button generation of a Syndesy Check-Ins report. Smaller “cadres of contact tracers” could then be put to work to alert those who might have been at the same place at the same time as the infected app user; but the user could also just share the report on their own.