CoronaVirus : Apple and Google Partner on Contact Tracing Tech via APIs, Bluetooth
"Apple and Google are working together to develop a framework for the use of Bluetooth on Android and iOS devices, for contact tracing of coronavirus."
Apple and Google are working together to develop a framework for the use of Bluetooth on Android and iOS devices, for contact tracing of coronavirus.
The two technology giants Apple and Google are going to work together to enable the use of Bluetooth in order for governments and health agencies to carry out contact tracing of people affected by a coronavirus in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while keeping privacy and security in the forefront, according to a release issued by the companies.
Apple and Google described it as a comprehensive solution that includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and operating system level technology. The two companies are releasing technical documentation of Bluetooth specifications, cryptography specifications, and a framework API for contact tracing.
First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Second, 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.
Contact Tracing is an important part of reducing the spread of the COVID-19, by identifying the people who have been infected by a coronavirus, and all the people that they have come into contact with, who could, in turn, be potentially infected as well. Most governments around the world have deployed different apps for COVID-19 contact tracing. Similarly, Aarogya Setu mobile apps developed by the Government of India to connect essential health services with the people of India in our combined fight against COVID-19.
According to Apple, "The Contact Detection Service is the vehicle for implementing contact tracing and uses the Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) for proximity detection of nearby smartphones, and for the data exchange mechanism."
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