Apple and Google launch digital COVID-19 contact tracing system

WION Web Team New Delhi, India May 21, 2020, 12.32 PM(IST)

File photo: Apple and Google Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Together, the tech giants rolled out a COVID-19 exposure notification system, essentially a unified programming interface that will allow public health departments to create their own contact tracing applications.

Apple and Google have released a software tool that will make it possible for nations to release coronavirus contact-tracing apps.

Together, the tech giants rolled out a COVID-19 exposure notification system, essentially a unified programming interface that will allow public health departments to create their own contact tracing applications.

Contact-tracing apps are designed to automatically log when two people come into proximity to each other for a significant amount of time.

Also read: Scientists release app to track COVID-19 symptoms, inform users about hot spots

If one is later diagnosed with the coronavirus, the other can be given an alert, which might suggest they self-isolate and/or request a medical test of their own.

The software relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.

It is much safer in comparison to other applications as it does not use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

"Starting today, our Exposure Notifications technology is available to public health agencies on both iOS and Android," Apple and Google said in a statement.

"Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts."

The companies had announced the unprecedented collaboration to leverage their technology to help trace and contain the spread of coronavirus last month, and say 22 countries and several US states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software.