To reduce the spread of the coronavirus Apple and Google have partnered together to make a COVID-19 contact tracing tool which will make use of Bluetooth technology which will help determine whether someone has been exposed to the virus.
Health authorities are already using data approaches collected from carriers and telecom operators to determine locations of COVID-19 patients and informing others in their vicinity.
Apple and Google are working on launching a more comprehensive two phase solution using application programming interfaces (APIs) and a system level contact tracing system which will work across both Android and iOS devices.
These APIs will be available starting May and governments and health authorities can use that to create apps that will work on both platform that is Android and iOS and will be available on their respective Google Play Store and App Store.
For the second phase Apple and Google will work on what Apple calls a “broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms.”
Apple made a post on its newsroom that said:
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.
According to Apple, all information about this project will be openly published along and privacy and user consent are of “utmost importance”.
Apple and Google will be working closing with developers and health providers to make this possible and play their part to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.