Apple and Google Introduce First Version of COVID-19 Patient Contact Tracking Technology
21.05.2020 0 Comments
In early April, Apple and Google announced a partnership to create a technology based on Bluetooth LE to track contacts of patients with COVID-19 (potentially it can be an effective tool to curb the spread of the disease). Two weeks ago, code developers and UI samples of a joint system were sent out to application developers, and the first version of the platform was officially launched yesterday, Axios reports.
The purpose of the platform is a timely warning of close contacts with patients with COVID-19 (via Bluetooth, cases of close interaction of phones are recorded). As has been repeatedly reported, all data collected within the framework of the project is anonymized. In addition, within the framework of the project, the companies banned the transfer of data on the location of users, and also strictly limited the circle of organizations having access to the platform. That is, for privacy you can not worry (sort of).
Apple and Google have opened the platform to healthcare authorities in three US states (Alabama, North Dakota and South Carolina) and 22 countries. And now they will be able to take advantage of the technology by implementing its support in both new and existing applications. The creators expect more countries to join the initiative in the coming weeks.
For Android and iOS, relevant updates have already been released that activate the technology. Thus, it will take Apple and Google a little over a month to launch the service.
Technology can help health officials rapidly tell someone they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Today the Exposure Notification API we created with @Google is available to help public health agencies make their COVID-19 apps effective while protecting user privacy.
– Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 20, 2020
Perhaps the main question now is how widespread will be the adoption of applications using this technology by users. It is this factor that determines the success and effectiveness of the tool. But it should be noted that the release of the API and the integration of technology into official applications of healthcare organizations is only the first of two stages. Now Apple and Google will start the second one, which provides for the integration of functionality directly into the iOS and Android operating systems, after which it will not be necessary to download individual applications.
At last year's I / O 2019 developer conference, Google said there were more than 2.5 billion active Android devices around the world. As for iOS, Apple last shared statistics in January this year – then it was said about 1.5 billion active iOS devices around the world.
Meanwhile, the number of cases of COVID-19 in the world exceeded five million people: 328 thousand people worldwide have already died from complications caused by infection, almost 1.9 million people have recovered, the United States remains the leader in the number of infections (more than 1 , 5 million people), in second place is Russia (more than 308 thousand), and Brazil takes the third place (more than 290 thousand). In Ukraine, in the last day, 476 new cases were recorded; Since the beginning of the epidemic, we have officially registered 19,706 cases of COVID-19 infection, of which 6,227 recovered, and 579 died.