The spread of COVID-19 has pushed tech giants Google and Apple to collaborate and develop a coronavirus contact tracking app. The app is the first of its kind and could be used to inform users if they have been in recent contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
The mobile app utilizes bluetooth low energy transmissions to determine if users have come into close contact with someone that has been infected with the virus.
The tracking process works like this:
Person A comes into close contact with person B.
The tracking app on each person’s mobile device exchanges an anonymous identifier beacon with each other.
Later, if person A tests positive for the virus, they can enter their test results in the app from a public health authority.
With person A’s consent, the tracking app will notify other users it exchanged identifier beacons with over the past 14 days that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
The app is still in its early stages of development, as Apple and Google look to run it by public health authorities for approval.
The tracking app could prove to be incredibly useful given the rate at which coronavirus cases are increasing worldwide. However, some people have raised concerns about the accuracy of the app.
The app could potentially give users false positive notifications if they were to pass by a crowded area or sit in an adjacent room to an infected user without actually making contact.
These issues will have to be worked out in the future, but in the present, the app could be used to save many lives. Let’s hope that we see more mobile technology solutions for combating coronavirus in the near future.