The New Contact Tracking Technology from Apple and Google
Apple and Google have continued to revitalize their efforts in combating the spread of the coronavirus with new technology tweaks. The tech giants are working on a piece of tracking technology that seeks to inform people whenever they have been exposed to COVID-19. They have released some code to show what the apps will look like. The code is optimized for phones with some samples of code also given to local governments.
The contact tracking technology has been on the works for several weeks and is steered towards helping users alert each other if they were in close contact with anyone that tests positive for the virus within 14 days. Coronavirus is a respiratory disease that attacks the lungs making the patient lose the ability to breathe on their own and has had a significant fatality rate in several regions around the globe. As this tracking technology was being designed, the two tech giants reassured users that it would be built with utmost regard to their privacy. They have also revealed their intentions to work closely with public health experts around the world to optimize these coronavirus-driven technology apps further.
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How It Works
The demonstrations performed by the companies of the tracking technology illustrate some necessary actions. They involve logging into the system as well as turning on notifications whenever the user is exposed to someone recently diagnosed with the virus. Within the app, health officials can also confirm the diagnosis of a person after keying in a unique code through the user’s device. Afterward, the patient if found positive, will be prompted by the tracking technology to anonymously warn those they’ve interacted within the past few weeks for them to be able to take the required measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The tracking technology uses the phone’s built-in Bluetooth feature to identify places where a confirmed patient may have been to help Apple iPhones, and Google Android-powered devices relay information between one another. The user will, therefore, know what places are marked as the hotspots and will take the necessary precautions when in these areas. If a doctor comes across a person with the virus, they enter a code into the tracking technology app which will relay a signal to notify all the phones the patient had been in contact with between two weeks.
The Global Scope
Apple and Google plan on launching the project sometime later in the year and will be available for over 2 billion devices worldwide. For now, however, they have started releasing beta versions of the tracking technology software and sharing codes through their iOS and Android Operating Systems for the health officials. The companies plan on designing one app for every country to ease confusion on which apps can be used. They seek to accommodate a more extensive reach through the tracking technology to ensure a thorough analysis of results.
Apple and Google are an illustration of the methods that big tech firms are working on to come up with innovative detection and tracking technology ideas to help with the coronavirus situation. The virus has claimed the lives of over 250,000 people, with 3.5 million infections on a global scale. Alphabet, which is the life sciences faction of the Google company, developed a website that is steered towards spreading information on testing of the virus to those people living in California. The site is partly funded by the White House and has a provision for people to write down their symptoms for the online screener. Apple also has a website that seeks actively to educate people about COVID-19.
Apple and Google have made some significant changes to the tracking technology since its announcement a few weeks ago. They made some tweaks to the privacy protection features after it was brought to focus by security experts and the media professionals on how the tracking technology would work. The tech companies announced later that they had changed the data encryption technology that will now eliminate any identification information in a bid to ensure personal user privacy. They will also work on ensuring that the device information is also untraceable as well as the transmission signal capability.
Following the development of this new tracking technology, health professionals can now build applications using the white-label code that Apple and Google will offer them to hasten the incorporation of this coronavirus-driven technology. The companies’ dedication to the positive user experience will go a long way into helping them facilitate broader adoption.