The Science of Pandemic Technology

Co-Hosted with The Big Data Institute at The University of Oxford

wehealth oxford big data institute

September 2021 Seminar

Tuesday, September 28, 2021


Register Now

Strategies for COVID-19 Presence Tracing

Contact tracing in many countries initially focused on those in close proximity to someone infectious for COVID-19, and Bluetooth-based protocols for automated exposure notification followed suit. But because COVID-19 is also spread via aerosols, contacts at the other side of a room are also at substantial risk of infection, especially in poorly ventilated venues and with more infectious strains. QR code scans or Bluetooth beacons can be used to match those who were present at the same venue at the same time as an infectious person. This panel will explore different designs for presence tracing protocols, and the rationales behind them.

Meet The Speakers

Justus Benzler

Justus Benzler

Justus is a medical epidemiologist at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin/Germany. After several years of clinical practice in obstetrics and surgery in Germany and then as district medical officer in Burkina Faso, he specialized in medical informatics. His work within Infectious Disease Surveillance at RKI since 2002 was intermitted by multi-year assignments with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and with WHO, where he focused on dengue and yellow fever prevention and control, respectively. Together with Göran, he contributed to the design and development of SORMAS and DEMIS and serves as advisor to SORMAS.

vincent roca wehealth headshot

Vincent Roca

After a PhD from Grenoble INP in 1996, Vincent Roca joined the University Paris 6 as Associate Professor in 1997, and Inria as a researcher in 2000. Active IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) participant, member of PRIVATICS since 2012, he is now leading this Inria research team specialised in privacy and personal data protection. He focuses in particular on the privacy risks associated with the use of smartphones and Internet of Things devices, and on consent management on the web. He is also co-author with PRIVATICS colleagues of the ROBERT Covid exposure notification protocol and the CLEA cluster exposure notification protocol, the two digital tracing protocols of the French TousAntiCovid national app.

merrin macleod headshot

Merrin MacLeod

Merrin MacLeod is a project lead for the exposure notification app used by New Zealand.

carmela troncoso - 240Carmela Troncoso

Carmela Troncoso is an assistant professor at EPFL (Switzerland) where she heads the SPRING Lab. Her research focuses on security and privacy. Carmela holds a Master's degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Vigo (2006) and a PhD in Engineering from the KU Leuven in 2011. Her thesis, Design and Analysis Methods for Privacy Technologies, received the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics Security and Trust Management Best PhD Thesis Award, and her work on Privacy Engineering received the CNIL-INRIA Privacy Protection Award in 2017. She has been named 40 under 40 in technology by Fortune in 2020.

james petrie - 140
James Pietrie

James Petrie designed the decentralized Bluetooth protocol initially used by Covid Watch (which he co-founded), and contributed to the design of the TCN protocol for decentralized exposure notification. James is currently an Applied Math PhD student at theUniversity of Waterloo, and Head of Research at WeHealth.

Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs

Joanna Masel, PhD

Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona

Luca Ferretti, PhD

Senior Researcher in Statistical Genetics and Pathogen DynamicsBig Data Institute, The University of Oxford

Watch the previous seminars on-demand

The Science of Pandemic Technology Seminar Series is dedicated to showcasing the latest and best available scientific research to inform digital health innovation for COVID response. Subscribe to learn more about upcoming events and join the Science of Pandemic Technology community.

Topics for future presentations and panel discussions

Contributors to this series include some of the leading experts in exposure science, epidemiology, virology, public health, infectious disease, Bluetooth technology, pathogen dynamics, health communications, behavioral economics, privacy, cybersecurity and digital health innovation.

EN Technology

Evaluating the efficacy of digital proximity tracing and exposure notification apps

Risk Scoring Models

Protocols for establishing risk thresholds for exposure notifications

Health Communication

Effective communications strategies to drive app adoption, foster public trust, and promote behavior change

When to Quarantine

Cost-benefit analysis of quarantine guidelines

Ethics & Health Equity

Ethical frameworks and health equity considerations for pandemic technology innovation

Exposure Science

Microbial exposure science of modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Implications for risk assessment and prevention

“Last week’s event was awesome! There were 5 from my department that attended as well, they also wrote to say how much they enjoyed the debate."

Keep up with us!

Loving Science of Pandemic Technology? Sign up to get the latest news, insights, and to learn about upcoming sessions.