Apple and Google Come Together to Develop a COVID-19 Tracing Tool

Developing a COVID-19 Tracing Tool

Google and Apple have joined hands to create a decentralized contact tracing tool. This tool will help people to learn if they have been exposed to COVID-19. Public health authorities can take the help of a contract tracing tool to track the spread of this deadly disease. Thereafter, they can inform the ones who might be potentially exposed to the virus so that they go for the virus test. The tool works by identifying the affected and following up with the ones who might have come in contact with the person who has been affected.

The tool that is laid down in an extensive range of white papers and documents is going to use short-range Bluetooth communications that maps out and establish a voluntary contract tracing network. The first phase of the newly developed system is an API which the public health agencies will be able to integrate into the app they have.? In the next phase, the tool will use a system-level contact tracing system. This will run on Android and iOS devices on an opt-in basis.

The new tool will take the help of the on-board radios present on the device to pass on an anonymous ID within a short-range map address through Bluetooth beaconing. Your last 14 days movement ID to the other IDs will be relayed through the servers that search for a match. The tool detects a prospective match based on the amount of time spent and the distance that was maintained between the two devices.

In case it detects a match with some other user on the maps who has set on the system that they tested positive for the virus, the individual will be notified. Thus, in case you are notified through the app, you can take the required measures to get tested and to quarantine yourself.

Contact tracing has been a talked-about tool across the world. However, it is also the one that has been adopted by the health universities and authorities who are working on different projects on coronavirus. One of them is MIT. The renowned university is using Bluetooth for developing a contract tracing system which maps out the infected which had been inspired by ?Apple’s Find My System? by Apple. The companies have said that these organizations have recognized the technical difficulties they had been facing and were unable to overcome.

John Evans has stated the requirement of a broader tracing apparatus with the idea that you would have to get buy-in from Google or Apple to make it possible.

Reason why Apple and Google Joined Hands

The venture by the two hotshot tech companies started two weeks ago. The primary reason the two companies came together is that the system has poor inoperability on different devices of the manufacturers. When it comes to contact tracking, each time a system is fragmented between apps, the effectiveness gets limited. To make the contact tracing work once, a humongous amount of adoption is required for a system.

There is also the technical issue of power-sucking by the Bluetooth, privacy concerns regarding the centralized system of data accumulation, and the effort that has to be put in to make enough people download it.