COVID-19 Tests Gone Rogue: Privacy, Efficacy, Mismanagement and Misunderstandings

Paper by Manuel Morales et al: “COVID-19 testing, the cornerstone for effective screening and identification of COVID-19 cases, remains paramount as an intervention tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 both at local and national levels. However, the speed at which the pandemic struck and the response was rolled out, the widespread impact on healthcare infrastructure, the lack of sufficient preparation within the public health system, and the complexity of the crisis led to utter confusion among test-takers. Invasion of privacy remains a crucial concern. The user experience of test takers remains low. User friction affects user behavior and discourages participation in testing programs. Test efficacy has been overstated. Test results are poorly understood resulting in inappropriate follow-up recommendations. Herein, we review the current landscape of COVID-19 testing, identify four key challenges, and discuss the consequences of the failure to address these challenges. The current infrastructure around testing and information propagation is highly privacy-invasive and does not leverage scalable digital components. In this work, we discuss challenges complicating the existing covid-19 testing ecosystem and highlight the need to improve the testing experience for the user and reduce privacy invasions. Digital tools will play a critical role in resolving these challenges….(More)”.