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Ditch pen, paper; use QR code for contact tracing

SWITCH TO QR. The current pen and paper set-up should be replaced by much more modern means to ensure safety of consumers. Information technology expert Albert Padin, founder of Symph, says many free apps are now available to efficiently conduct contact tracing. (SunStar file)

BUSINESSES should harness the use of technology, such as in contact tracing to boost consumer confidence.

According to information technology expert Albert Padin, founder of Symph, many free apps are now available to efficiently conduct contact tracing.

He said the current pen and paper set-up should be replaced by much more modern means.

“It can be further improved with the use of technology like QR-code systems,” Padin said during a Department of Trade and Industry Ready to Recover online webinar.

Padin said adopting a QR code system will eliminate the bottlenecks in long lines and reduce the exposure in congregation areas.

A business owner can print a QR code for contact tracing and place it on the entrances of his store branches.

“The beauty of a QR-code system over the pen and paper is because when you have the pen and paper, if someone gets the coronavirus, you open your logbook and you manually message the people to isolate themselves. That’s a big hassle to businesses,” he said.

The benefit of the QR code system includes going to the system and filtering which people should be notified based on the time the Covid-19 positive visitor came into the venue.

“Some of the systems can be directly integrated with the authorities and the government, which is very convenient,” he said.

He listed down TapTrace, WeScan, SafePass and QRCity as notable apps beneficial for the merchants.

Moreover, Padin said there are also individual apps that a person can download that can help detect if he is in close proximity with a person exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, provided that the person is also using the same app.

“They work by automatically detecting a person’s close contact with other people and alerting them if someone who they may have or had contact with develops Covid-19 symptoms,” Padin said.

Some apps also use the Global Positioning System for contact tracing.

Padin explained that the apps have their respective privacy tools.

“The app will alert you and advise you to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus,” he said.

Padin cited apps like WeTrace, Staysafe.ph and Novid as some of the apps that can be downloaded.

He added that there are automatic contact lists based on proximity, especially when a person declares in the app that he/she has developed symptoms.

Once the person notifies the system, all the contacts of the person will be informed, he said. (JOB)


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