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Table 1 Features and functionality of the Ebola Contact Tracing (ECT) App

From: Use of a mobile application for Ebola contact tracing and monitoring in northern Sierra Leone: a proof-of-concept study

ECT Module Purpose System features and advantages over paper-based system
Registration by Data Co-ordinator at District level Registration of data for confirmed Ebola case and all listed contacts • Built-in validation features (improves data accuracy e.g. unique ID, number of digits for phone numbers and mandatory fields e.g. age, sex)
• Skip logic and mandatory data entry ensures only relevant questions are answered
• Automatic repeat information features (e.g. same address details of case and contacts) reduces time
• Additional contacts feature (ease of adding additional contacts to app saves time
• Password-secured (ensures confidentiality of Ebola cases and contacts)
• District level monitoring (improve monitoring at district level)
Contact assignment by Contact Tracing Co-ordinator at Chiefdom level Assignment of listed contacts by CTC to a particular Contact Tracer (CT) in a Chiefdom
(CTC is geographically mobile and can assign from anywhere where there is an active data connection)
• Real-time data transmission to CT (reduces interval before contact monitoring)
• Limited contact information view (View only contacts for a specific Chiefdom improves confidentiality and accuracy
• Named CT assignment feature (reduces chances of assignment error)
• Reassignment feature (enables contacts to be easily re-assigned if misassigned)
• Pre-loaded contact information (minimises errors as no further data entry required)
• Swipe system for contact assignment (minimises reliance on typing/ reduce data entry error)
• Multiple contact assignment feature (enables contacts to be assigned to one or more CTs)
Visitation by Contact Tracer (CT) at community level To enable the CT to monitor the listed contacts assigned to them for a 21 day period or until the contact becomes symptomatic • Real-time information transmission (reduces time-lag for the start of contact monitoring)
• Pre-loaded information on assigned contacts received (eliminates data re-entry/reduces data entry errors)
• Automatic GPS location tracker (enables monitoring of where data entry on the app took place)
• Automatic date and time capture (enables monitoring of CT performance and reduces data misreporting)
• Offline data entry (mobile platform permits offline data entry – contact monitoring can be entered offline/reduces reliance on good network coverage)
• Repeat visits information can be entered (repeat contact visit information can be entered and automatically uploaded with immediate data storage once synced)
• Password secured data (ensures confidentiality and data security)
• Additional data feature (e.g. on food availability) can be sent to the district for improved care and coordination.
Telerivet Alert Line To alert the district Ebola Response Centre of symptomatic contacts identified by the CT during the contact visitation step • Real-time district alert of symptomatic contacts (enables quick dispatch of surveillance team and potentially reducing the time to isolation
• Password secured data (ensures confidentiality)
• Reduced reliance on phone calls or SMS messages (ensures all symptomatic contacts are accurately logged)
  1. Key: CTC Contact Tracing Coordinator; CT Contact Tracer; GPS Global Positioning System; SD Secure Digital; SIM Subscriber Identity Card; SL Sierra Leone; SMS Short Message Service