We all know how the COVID-19 pandemic has hit most of the world’s population since it started. Still medical and civil workers from different parts of the world are putting their greatest efforts to fight against coronavirus. Supporting them, developers of Google and Apple are drawing up contact tracing tools and helping in fighting against this pandemic outbreak. Not only them but recently, most developers have taken the initiative of developing the contact tracing system in the form of a tool. Today, we will see what is contact tracing and how helpful the contact tracing technology is.
This blog also gives you information about best contact tracing apps introduced by several nations and helps recognize COVID-19 positive victims, voluntarily.
Contact Tracing App – Why is it needed?
To know if someone has turned out a positive victim to COVID-19, first you should know the victims. Contact tracing apps help you identify and self-report who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and report it to concerned health authorities immediately through the app. As the app traces the victim’s health along with the closest contact they have met recently, it becomes easy for medical health associations to test and confirm whether positive or negative.
We will see the benefits of a contact tracing app and different types of contact tracing apps available and to make use of. To our known knowledge, Google and Apple collaborated and introduced a contact tracing app that functions with the Bluetooth option without using the user’s GPS location. Likewise, many software companies have come forward to introduce such apps and help society to become free from this pandemic.
Let us take a look at how a contact tracing app works, and how it benefits the public and medical health associations.
Contact Tracing App – How It Works?
With contact tracing apps, medical health officials can automatically trace people who might have come in close contact with infected people. This is the way how these apps work in real-time, but users should keep the Bluetooth option and GPS turned on for most of the contact tracing apps introduced.
- Turn on the Bluetooth option on your mobile and enable GPS for the app to identify your location.
- After you install a contact tracing app, it calculates the distance between your phone and others’ phones within reach and has the app installed.
- Now the app saves the key logs of GPS location data and others who have come in contact with each other, for the day.
- These details are stored anonymously and so, none of your contacts get to know who has been infected or any other sensitive and confidential information.
- When someone experiences COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive, they should inform it in the app.
- Now, the app will send an alert to those other users, who came in close contact with the victim frequently, without revealing the identity.
- Later, users who have received alerts about the affected person will receive notifications on how to take it further from the current situation.
- Also, many apps show the nearby healthcare facilities for COVID-19 testing and necessary precautions one should follow to handle such terrific conditions.
How contact tracing apps ensure privacy protection?
While installing any app, data privacy and protection becomes the primary concern of every user, and of course, their fear is correct. Especially, when it comes to installing a contact tracing app, users may have concerns about whether their health-related data will be shared with others, or what if a third-party accesses their data.
This is where the government comes into the picture. Every nation set their own restrictions and norms towards not sharing their app information and public health information with any other nation. They keep data anonymous from others, which are technically called data localization.
Best contact tracing apps
1. COVID Safe
The base root of COVID Safe is Australia and developed by the Australian Department of Health, which is available for download in both Google Play Store and App Store. A few features of this app include collecting logs based on location details with using GPS technology, notifies on results if the user turns out to be positive, helps you receive alerts in case you come in close contact with a COVID-19 victim so that you can take necessary precautions or stay away from contacting the person and shares relevant information that you watch or read, on COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health, Israel, develops this app and it is almost similar to COVID Safe, HaMagen is also available for both Android and iOS. Most of the contact tracing apps cater to similar functionalities and features but may vary here and there. HaMagen notifies you of information about a contact that you have met in the past few days and gets affected due to COVID-19. Also it logs in location details using the user’s GPS history. The best part with this app is users can accept or reject notifications when popped-up. They can view it later under the Notifications section.
TraceTogether is launched by the Ministry of Health and Government technology agency of Singapore together. This app also serves features such as collecting recent and closely contacted people’s log lists using GPS and Bluetooth technology. It identifies and sends you notifications of results if you are a positive victim of COVID-19. In case you meet someone who is affected by the virus, then you receive notifications with the relevant information. Anyhow, the app shares the information only if you need contacting.
4. Arogya Setu
Arogya Setu is developed by the Indian Government and has been widely used by most of the population. It takes the help of the user’s mobile GPS and logs in location details. It displays results in the app if you confirm positive towards COVID-19 or show any related symptoms. Users will receive alerts if they get in contact with any affected individual.
To identify and report COVID-19 patients, the Malaysian government launched this app. The app allows you to perform self-analysis of every member of the family and provides the risk status of each individual. It monitors your health condition regularly. Moreover, it provides real-time reports monitored by the Ministry of Health. If you want to know the nearby health centers, you can get it through this app.
Whoever is reading this blog, hoping that the information provided throughout was useful. Contact tracing apps are useful and effective when you follow the technical requirement to use this app, on your phone. Firstly, you should be a socially responsible person to admit if you encounter such symptoms and ready to beat the COVID race. Otherwise, it may become worse and you might be left in a situation where no one can save you. This contacts tracing system keeps the Bluetooth icon always enabled on your device and makes sure that your GPS works.
If you require any help on app development or want to share your feedback on this blog, reach us through phone, e-mail, or chat without a second thought. We will revert to you immediately.
Frequently asked questions
1. How safe is the contact tracing app?
Although this has been an on-going concern in the minds of users about their data safety, the answer to this question would be yes, your data remains absolutely safe. Government while launching the app has taken necessary measures to safeguard your data; moreover, the app claims only your Bluetooth signal and GPS location. Also, the information passed on to other users always transferred or notified anonymously. So it is safe and good using the contact tracing app.
2. What are all the technologies these apps incorporate?
Contact tracing apps are installed in Smartphones and use only two simple technologies such as Bluetooth and GPS navigation. With Bluetooth, the app calculates the distance between you and every single person you came in contact with. If the signal strength is stronger, then the distance between two people is lesser. Likewise, GPS is used to identify your location if you have the app installed previously.
3. How Google and Apple’s contact tracing app works?
The app introduced by Google and Apple will cater to similar features to other contact tracing apps, but this app does not take your GPS location and uses only Bluetooth. This has been taken upon the feedback of most users having concerns in terms of their data being shared. Google and Apple have been working together to make this effective and introduce a perfect version of their contact tracing app.
4. How much does it cost to create a contact tracing app?
To keep it simple, the cost of a contact tracing app might be similar to the cost of mobile app development. Depending on features and other front-end and back-end applications installed on your app and the number of hours your developer(s) may take for completing the app, the app cost will have to be decided. Once you proceed with the groundwork, you will realize it.