American tech companies Google and Apple have collaboratively developed an initiative that will enable trace people who come into close contact with Coronavirus (Covid-19) patients.
The initiative will be available for over 3 billion people who enable location tracking through Bluetooth.
Users who came into contact with a person who tests positive for Covid-19 will be alerted on their phones automatically.
“To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing,” announced Google and Apple.
Through the solution, if two people come into close contact, their phones will exchange an anonymous identification key, recording that they have had close contact.
If one person is later diagnosed with Covid-19, the close contact is notified through the app.
The system will notify other users they have been in close contact with to take necessary measures.
The solution will be enabled by APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities, which will be released in May. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
“In the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities,” added the two companies.