Apple and Google will soon begin using a new system to enable health authorities to use smartphones to stop the spread of coronavirus

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, different tech companies are trying to find ways and public health authorities are trying to stop the spread of this novel virus by various methods. Contact tracing is one method that has proved quite efficient in countries like South Korea and China. In the continuation of these efforts, Google and Apple have collaborated and announced that they will be using a new system that will assist in contact tracing without having to develop a special app for that.

This new system is named Exposure Notifications Express, and it will allow public health officials to submit a file configured for Apple and Google. This file will then be used by these two companies to set up a system. Phone owners will be able to choose to enable this system in their phones and through this system, they will be able to determine if they were close to someone who recently tested positive for COVD-19. So, in this way, no one has to build a special app, but a simple file system can help public health authorities to help in contact tracing.

A new version of iOS has recently released, and it will alert users if this Exposure Notification Express system has been made available by the local authorities in their iPhones or not. If it is available, then the users will have an option to enable it and get the full benefit of it.

For Android devices, the operating system will send a prompt to users, and they will also have to download an automatically generated app that iOS users don’t have to.

This system will start functioning in Maryland, Nevada, and Washington DC first. Apple and Google have also said that this system will work along with the tools that both the companies released back in May that enabled public health officials to create apps that could use iPhone and Android devices for the detection of a COVID-positive person in proximity through the phone’s Bluetooth signals.

Exposure notification apps based on this Apple-Google technology have been functioning in six prominent states of the US and in more than twenty-four other countries too. So far, there is no report of any glitches in these apps and they seem to be working just fine. These apps are compatible with cross-border tracking also.

However, most governments are not tracking detailed data due to users’ privacy concerns, and that is a concern around all these apps and technologies being applied to slow down the spread of this virus.

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