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Should GPS Technology Be Used to Track Those in COVID-19 Quarantine?



Victoria Police are currently conducting random spot checks to ensure people who are in quarantine or isolation are complying with public health directions by staying at home. Officials recently conducted 3,000 doorknocks of people who were supposed to be self-isolating. This costly exercise revealed that more than one quarter were not at home. Non-compliance is jeopardising the health and livelihood of millions of people in Victoria.

By next week, there will be 4,000 household visits by authorities every day. An additional 500 Australian Defence Force troops will be joined by 750 Victorian Police officers, plus an extra 300 health officials, for widespread checks across the state.

In Western Australia last week, a dentist admitted to breaking a self-isolation order after flying in from over east. Police checks on her home address found she wasn’t there, and further checks found her at work.

Given the potential for extreme outbreaks and the prohibitive cost of policing home isolation, a more efficient system might be to use technology like GPS tracking to identify a contact’s location via a mobile app. myosh has cloud-based, high volume GPS Contact Tracking Technology. If a contact leaves a pre-registered location or disables tracking, authorities receive alerts.

An app like this aids compliance and can potentially save lives. If the app is used and fewer people infect others, lives will return back to normal sooner and the economy can ramp back up. Also, limited resources can be used to more effectively track the people who elect not to use the app. That way, people who don’t want to be tracked or set out to do the wrong thing are less likely to get away with breaking the law because the authorities can spend more time on those people.

Asked about security concerns, myosh responded that Tracking can only occur with user consent. If this is not granted, then alternative quarantine arrangements will need to be made. The user controls and can disable tracking at any time.

So how does GPS Contact Tracing work?
    • Originally developed to protect the safety of lone workers in remote areas.
    • Authorities register each contact’s location in the myosh Viking PaaS (Platform as a Service).
    • Each Contact must agree and activate tracking on their phone.
    • The app can also randomly ‘ping’ the contact to respond to ensure they remain with their phones (at home).
    • Authorised personnel will receive notifications when a contact leaves their registered location or if their device becomes disconnected.
    • A Dashboard can also be used to report and analyse contact locations and other data.
myosh geofencing

myosh spokesperson, Sarah O’Leary, says that the technology is available right now. The platform can be configured for different scenarios.

The Viking platform allows organisations to create their own ‘zero code’ applications. Create dynamic forms. Configure workflow and deploy to web and mobile. Create Interactive Analytics, share, review and drive constant improvement.

Other uses for GPS tracking:

    • Lone worker tracking
    • Push notifications of hazards/information when people enter specific locations
    • Automated timesheets to track when people start/finish jobs based on location
    • Raise Emergency alerts with GPS coordinates for people in high-risk jobs eg Security Guards