Details About Apple and Google’s Coronavirus Tracking App
Last month, Apple and Google announced their cooperation to develop the coronavirus tracking app. This tool aims to stop the spreading of COVID-19 by thracking the people’s movement and alert them in case of a positive virus test. More details below.
Coronavirus Tracking App: Quick Overview
The new system by Google and Apple will track the position of a person and inform them about the contacts with infected people around them. The companies said that they will not use this information for advertising or tracking a person’s geo-position. The application will work based on the Bluetooth LE signals:
- When you are staying closer than 1,5 meters to a person, your phones automatically exchange the unique IDs and record that you have had a close contact with each other;
- Next, imagine the situation that after a couple of days this unknown person will be diagnosed with the coronavirus disease;
- When it happens, your phone will automatically send you the alert that will recommend you to keep a self-quarantine or go to the doctor.
How Will It Work?
There are a lot of different questions and doubts about this new tracking tool. For example, to make this system effective, the experts count that it should be used by 60% of all country’s population. And it is the minimum percent level. So, how people will use the application? Will they be forced to download it?
As Google and Apple stated, the program is divided into two stages. During the first phase, the companies want to make sure that the tool works on both Android and iOS devices. The important nuance is that the application will not be launched on Google Play and Apple Store. Once they check it, the program will move to the second phase. During this phase, companies plan to add the contact tracing.
Google and Apple say that the health organizations of each country are responsible for allowing the use of this application in each county. Moreover, even if the government allows this tool in the country, each person can decide whether they want to install it on their device. The companies are not going to include the coronavirus tool to the core operating system.
Another big doubt about the program’s effectiveness is the way it will define whether the person is infected or not. In other words, do you need to include the test result? According to the latest information, the companies decided that the diagnosis needs to be approved by the doctors, otherwise, it can be manipulated. As for the tests, Google and Apple decided to make them unnecessary. In the vast majority of countries, doctors can test people only if they stay in the hospital but a lot of people just stay at home if they are infected by COVID-19. Therefore, doctors are allowed to make a diagnosis based on the symptoms.
Will It Be Effective?
Despite the fact that there are a lot of vague moments about this tracking tool, it still remains one of the most effective ways to fight against the viruses. Apple and Google, two tech giants, said that they will only consult the governments and helps them with the tech part of the application, and the health organizations will decide whether they will use the tool to stop the virus or not. No privacy issues, geo-positions, and person’s details. Everything will be secure and encrypted. But a lot of people still do not believe them and don’t want to download the application to their devices. What is your opinion? Do you believe that the app will really help the governments to stop the virus from spreading? Share your thoughts in the comments below.