On the one hand, pharmaceutical companies and research organizations around the world are doing experiments in developing the vaccine for COVID – 19. ,On the other hand, software developers are also contributing to help combat the virus. Interesting, right?
How Corona Virus Spreads?
The main mode of transmission, that plays an important role in the spread of coronavirus is contact transmission. In this mode, when an infected individual cough or sneeze viral particles land on the surface. If another person touches that surface or an object and then, touches his nose, mouth or eyes, the virus enters the body via the respiratory tract. Thus, infecting the second person.
Which Technology Can Help To Control The Spread?
On 10th April 2020, Google And Apple Working Jointly On Contact Tracing Technology to reduce the chances of the spread of the virus. The mission is to help governments and health agencies by enabling the use of Bluetooth Technology while maintaining privacy and security central to the design.
According to public health organizations, contact tracing is a valuable tool to control the spread of the COVID–19 Virus. Moreover, several renowned public health authorities, NGOs and Universities around the globe, are also working in developing contact tracing technology.
In this regard, Apple and Google have planned to implement the system in two steps – First, by launching Application Interfaces (APIs) in May, that can operate on iOS and Android devices, using apps from public health authorities. While in the coming months both companies will work on a more robust solution that will enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing system than API and would allow more individuals to opt-in.
What Is Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), it contributes by alerting its users when they come in contact with the person who has been positively diagnosed as having COVID-19. This could result in controlling the spread of the virus, to protect people and get society back up and running.
How Does It Work?
The official apps will be available for users. They would easily download these apps from Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Users who download this app, unique tracing key would be generated per user, when contact tracing will be enabled on the phone. If they have been positively diagnosed with COVID-19, they can report into an app from the public health authority. The system will also alert other people (who downloaded these apps), whether they have been in close contact with the known carriers of Corona Virus.
What Is The Main Mission?
According to the statement released by the companies, they hoped that through collaboration and cooperation with governments, software developers and public health providers could help countries across the world to reduce the rapid transmission of COVID-19, by using the power of technology and this would also facilitate the return of everyday life.
It’s a Bluetooth plan, it wouldn’t track the user’s physical location, instead, signals of nearby smartphones at the intervals of 5 minutes would be picked up and a connection would form between the phones. Moreover, it doesn’t collect personally identifiable information.
Explicit user consent is required – users will decide whether they want to contribute to contact tracing or not. The app will only be used by public health authorities to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.