Michael Parker argues for app to track COVID-19 spread

Michael Parker argues for app to track COVID-19 spread


michael parker

Professor Michael Parker, St Cross College fellow, is part of a team that has published new research in Science arguing that mobile apps could help to significantly slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19. According to the study, 'viral spread is too fast to be contained by manual contact tracing, but... a contact-tracing App which builds a memory of proximity contacts and immediately notifies contacts of positive cases can achieve epidemic control if used by enough people. By targeting recommendations to only those at risk, epidemics could be contained without need for mass quarantines (‘lock-downs’)'.

The study, a collaboration of Oxford scholars from the Big Data Intitute, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, and the Oxford University NHS Trust, invites all to support official apps from trusted institutions and their partners. 

Parker added, 'The app should be opt-in, provide secure data storage and privacy protection, and be informed by public and user engagement at every stage of implementation. With these guarantees and, if widely installed by users across a country or regional bloc, a mobile app could even help to end the epidemic.'

You can read more about the study here.


Riley Lewis

7 April 2020