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Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Signal Strength Estimation to Facilitate Contact Tracing for COVID-19

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: The process of contact tracing to reduce the spread of highly infectious andlife-threatening diseases has traditionally been a primarily manual processmanaged by public health entities. This process becomes challenged when facedwith a pandemic of the proportions of SARS-CoV2. Digital contact tracing hasbeen proposed as way to augment manual contact tracing and lends itself towidely proliferated devices such as cell phones and wearables. This paperdescribes a method and analysis of determining whether two cell phones, carriedby humans, were in persistent contact of no more than 6 feet over 15 minutesusing Bluetooth Low Energy signals. The paper describes the approach todetecting these signals, as well as a data-driven performance analysis showingthat larger numbers of samples coupled with privacy preserving auxiliaryinformation improves detection performance.

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