Contact Tracing is a technique used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It is widely used in clinics of sexual health where compromised patients are advised to touch someone they are acquainted with.
In the virus pandemic, it involves monitoring someone who has been in long-term contact and might be asked to self-isolate.That is also achieved by telephone calls to friends and relatives of people suffering from virus enhanced by an interactive smartphone app for locations.
Covid-19 killed over 200,000 people and caused a severe recession. Governments want people back into work and contact tracing tools help authorities monitor the virus and alert residents who could be contaminated to stay home or to be screened.
These application will use Bluetooth to monitor when the users come into contact with another person and then app will automate the process of contact tracing. When a person shows signs of virus, he or she has to allow the application to send notification to the government authority.
App would also initiate an anonymous warning to other users with whom they recently have frequent contact and alert them to quarantine or be checked.
South Korea has used this technology along with Mass testing in the early stage of pandemic to prevent the virus from spreading in across the country.Today South Korea has very less number of cases coming and that too without any full lockdown.
Contact tracing systems, including those currently in use in Singapore and Australia, use mobile signals to trace who is in contact with an infected person so that these individuals can be identified or checked.
Bluetooth is used for tracing locations instead of GPS, the global positioning system, because in most democracies GPS can not be used without violating the laws on privacy. It is also cause mobile batteries to drain quickly.
Apple and Google plan to release their contact monitoring system first version by mid-May. A second step, to be released in the coming months, would provide more convergence with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.
But we need to understand that apps alone can’t be a solution.Many people recommend and recognize Devices as the magic solution to reopen society, but they aren’t. We don’t know how effective it is. Privacy and Data security are still open questions that needs to be addressed on the usage of Contact Tracing Apps.