Technology giants Apple and Google are joining forces to create an app that will help authorities track exposure to the coronavirus using Bluetooth technology.
According to CNN, the companies announced that they are working on a platform to enable contact tracing, a measure that will identify people who have been exposed to the virus and who they have been in contact with.
The companies plan to release interfaces built on existing public health apps in May that can work on both iOS or Android systems, followed by a more comprehensive platform in the coming months to which users will have the ability to opt into.
According to Google, smartphone users that test positive for the coronavirus can input their result into an app from a public health authority, which will feed into an anonymous “identifier beacon.” That identifier beacon will then be anonymously exchanged with anyone the user comes into contact with who also has the service enabled on their devices.
The users will then upload their identifier records to the cloud, where they will receive a notification if they have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Health authorities around the world have identified contact tracing as one of the key solutions to help stop the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Several governments around the world, including Israel, Thailand, and Hong Kong, are already using similar technologies to help track exposures to COVID-19 and enforce quarantine measures.