Australia (9news)

Apple and Google combine to build complex coronavirus tracking system

By July 5, 2020 No Comments
Apple and Google have entered into a rare partnership to help health authorities around the world stop the spread of COVID-19 amid the global pandemic.
Normally Apple’s iOS operating system and Google’s Android are two very separate cases, working against each other to beat each other with new features designed to entice buyers of the latest smartphones.
READ MORE:Australia enters ‘next phase’ of fighting coronavirus
Apple’s contact tracing will operate off your phone’s bluetooth system.(Sipa USA)
Contact tracing is the very arduous and manual process undertaken by health authorities to determine who a person that has tested positive might have come into contact with.
That person would need to remember all the places they’ve been and the people they were in contact with.
Google and Apple plan to help by, in large part, automating that process.
Using Bluetooth on your smartphone, the planned app and operating system updates will constantly be “searching” for other smartphones.
Google says it hopes to have the system working by mid-May.(AP/AAP)
Every smartphone your phone comes into contact with will be recorded on your phone.
It’s all anonymous too – the “beacon” that is a unique number your smartphone transmits, changes every 15 minutes and carries no personalised data.
Not even your location is stored.
If at some point you test positive for COVID-19, health authorities can use your app to flag you as positive – only authorities can do this.
That will allow any other smartphone user you’ve come in contact with to be advised that they have been in contact with a positive case.
Tasmania coronavirus hospital closures
Australian Defence Force and Australian Medical Assistance team members arrive at Burnie Airport, Tasmania, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Two hospitals in the city of Burnie have been closed, with a cluster of 60 coronavirus cases, including 45 staff, linked to the facilities.(AAP Image/Department of Premier and Cabinet)
The other users wouldn’t know who it is that was positive, only that they had been in close proximity, this would allow for even more targeted testing for COVID-19 in the community.
Google and Apple plan to have the system working in mid-May, with a more comprehensive roll out within months.
They also state that the system can be disabled region by region as and when the pandemic comes to an end and contact tracing is no longer required.
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You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on theApp Store,Google Playand theGovernment’s WhatsApp channel.

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