KYW Medical Report: Using technology in fighting COVID-19

COVID-19 contact tracing app
COVID-19 contact tracing app Photo credit No-Mad/Getty Images

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — COVID-19 apps were supposed to be tech companies’ major weapon against the virus, but they are a big bust so far.

Have you heard about the COVID-19 apps designed to help ensure people are notified when they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive? Odds are you have not, and the fact is, they are rarely used.

While researchers have worked for months to develop COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, contact tracing apps like COVID Trace have been touted as one of the technology world’s most promising contributions to the fight against the pandemic.

So what is the problem?

In a way, the apps are a symbol of everything we have done wrong thus far fighting the virus. They are hampered by sluggish and uncoordinated development,a  distrust of technology companies, and inadequate advertising budgets and messaging campaigns.

In case you are wondering, the apps do not use GPA, location services, or any movement or geographical information.