The key is the high level of precision, higher than other technologies, such as...
The key is the high level of precision, higher than other technologies, such as GPS, cell phone networks and Wi-Fi.
Source: Universitat Politècnica de València

mhealth: Bluetooth to detect COVID-19 cases

A study carried out by researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) concludes that Bluetooth technology is ideal for detecting possible COVID-19 cases through smartphone contact tracing. The key is the higher precision by comparison with other technologies such as GPS, cell phone networks and Wi-Fi.

"Tracers have been and are essential to manage the pandemic. Today, the tracing is done by hand and this work is slow and inaccurate. However, as we have seen, technology can be highly useful: Contact tracing with smartphones and smartclocks can determine who has been in contact with an infected person, thanks to the use of localization and communication technologies such as GPS, cell phone networks, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth," explains Enrique Hernández Orallo, researcher at the Networking Research Group-DISCA of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

In their study, UPV researchers assessed the effectiveness of each one of these technologies. They designed an epidemiological mathematical model which allowed them to study its efficiency and impact as a measure of the number of persons directed to self-quarantine based on the results. "Bluetooth is the most suitable technology because it allows tracers to detect contacts within a range of two to three meters. Those contacts are considered by epidemiological models as a contact capable of passing the infection. Therefore, it helps to reduce the number of false contacts, and also allows them to be more efficient when establishing which people must self-quarantine," explains Enrique Hernández Orallo.

Since the infection rate of COVID-19 is extremely high, the contact-tracing technology must be accurate and search quickly. However, a significant percentage of the population must install the contact tracing application on their smart devices for such a system to be effective. "These strict requirements make contact tracing based on smartphones quite inefficient to contain the infection propagation during the first outbreak of the virus. However, in the case of a new outbreak of the pandemic, with a percentage of the population immune, or in combination with other less strict measures that reduce the spread of the virus (such as social distancing), contact tracing based on smartphones could be extremely useful, even if only a part of the population—less than 60%—are willing to use it. In any case, Bluetooth will be the most suitable tool to do the tracing," concludes Enrique Hernández-Orallo.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related articles

mhealth: A smartphone-based COVID-19 test

mhealth: A smartphone-based COVID-19 test

Researchers are developing a COVID-19 testing method that uses a smartphone microscope to analyze saliva samples and deliver results in about 10 minutes.

App monitors COVID-19 symptoms and mental health needs

App monitors COVID-19 symptoms and mental health needs

A new app that helps patients in self-isolation monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and identify their mental health needs has been developed.

'CovIdentify' pits smartphones and wearables against coronavirus

'CovIdentify' pits smartphones and wearables against coronavirus

A research study seeks volunteers to provide data from smartphones, smartwatches and health surveys to help detect COVID-19.

AI predicts how patients with viral infections will fare

AI predicts how patients with viral infections will fare

Researchers used an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to sift through terabytes of gene expression data to look for shared patterns in patients with past pandemic viral infections, including SARS, MERS and swine flu.

8 autonomous robots for disinfecting surfaces

8 autonomous robots for disinfecting surfaces

In this third part of our ongoing series, we present eight additional systems that are currently being deployed to decontaminate and sanitize surfaces.

Microfluidic chip simplifies COVID-19 testing

Microfluidic chip simplifies COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 can be diagnosed in 55 minutes or less with the help of programmed magnetic nanobeads and a diagnostic tool that plugs into an off-the-shelf cellphone.

Biosensors quickly spot coronavirus proteins, antibodies

Biosensors quickly spot coronavirus proteins, antibodies

Scientists have created a new way to detect the proteins that make up the pandemic coronavirus, as well as antibodies against it.

A bifunctional biosensor detects COVID-19

A bifunctional biosensor detects COVID-19

How fast could SARS-CoV-2 be detected? Researchers have developed an accurate, high-speed, and portable detector for COVID-19.

7 mobile disinfection robots for medical environments

7 mobile disinfection robots for medical environments

The following seven robotic systems are either currently being deployed or developed for the fight against the coronavirus.

Popular articles

Subscribe to Newsletter