Tech giants Apply and Google have raised hopes with an announcement about a combined effort to help public health agencies across the globe in tracking the spread of COVID-19.
The companies have made a promise to work on new software that would use wireless Bluetooth technology to track down users who have been infected with the novel coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China, in early December 2019. The effort is being made to help governments worldwide to launch “contact tracing” apps at a national, state and local level.
In theory, the technology proposes to work on short range Bluetooth signals; the contact tracing apps would be able to access the data of other phones (which have apps based on the same technology). Based on this data, other users can be alerted to known carriers they may have been in contact with, and may result in containing the spread.
Software developers in China and Singapore have already launched similar apps as a strategy to track and contain the spread of COVID-19; however, such technology has not yet been introduced in North America. Countries in Europe such as Germany and Italy, and Great Britain, are currently in the process of developing corresponding applications to be used as tracing tools for infected users.