The Andrews government has hired a US tech giant to lift its COVID-19 contact tracing system into the digital age, as the nation’s senior health official urged Victoria to be more confident that it could move safely out of the lockdown.
Under a data management system developed by the Silicon Valley company Salesforce inside Victoria’s Health Department. Automatic text messages will warn health officials, infected individuals and possibly their close contacts to positive tests, dramatically enhancing process speed.
The technology already supports contact tracing in Western Australia , New Zealand and South Australia.
Tracing system reset
Earlier in the pandemic, Victoria refused Salesforce ‘s approach, according to sources familiar with the matter. The company has also made the federal government an unsuccessful pitch for rolling out a national contact tracing management system.
On Monday, government sources confirmed the high-tech boost to Victoria’s contact tracing regime. As Victoria’s painfully slow path out of restrictions brought to sharp focus the state’s ability to contain future outbreaks.
The Commonwealth Department of Health Secretary and former Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the following. Although the contact tracing of Victoria had improved significantly since the beginning of the second wave. It seemed to hold back the emergence of the state from the lockdown.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Victoria’s approach to contact tracing has been the subject of intense scrutiny and regular criticism. With reports of long delays and antiquated whiteboard and note paper based systems.
In order to determine what had gone wrong, Australia’s chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel was embedded in Victoria’s Health Department.
Dr Peter Collignon, an expert on the disease of ANU infections. He described Victoria’s contact tracing as “weeping” in comparison with NSW.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton – who heads the Public Health Incident Management Team of Victoria. He’s in charge of investigating and managing outbreaks. He said Victoria ‘s system had been overwhelmed by the volume of cases in the second wave but was now the match of any other state.