The COVID-19 epidemic halted life as we know it for a substantial chunk of the year 2020. The new virus was initially found in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The following lockdown failed to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province. This was the month that news of a completely new contagious disease that was likely to spread over the world surfaced. By March 2020, the whole world had entered a state of hibernation in the hopes of restricting the virus’s spread and lowering the number of new infections by methods such as staying indoors and social isolation.
At the start of the outbreak, several software developers and medical health professionals pushed for the use of smartphone technology to help in the prevention of future viral transmission. There has never been a period in human history when such a plausible reaction has been available. As a result, many people jumped at the chance to work on improving cell functions that would benefit both their local community and humankind in general.
By April 2020, Google Play featured hundreds of COVID applications, many of which included contact tracing. Contact tracing is a critical approach for interrupting COVID-19 transmission networks and lowering the virus’s fatality rate. These monitoring apps find nearby mobile devices by constantly searching for Bluetooth connections and transmitting anonymous identifying codes. The codes in question notify individuals whether they are in the vicinity of contaminated events and have acknowledged it, or whether they have come into touch with anybody who is unwell.
They then record this information in a centralized database accessible via an application and managed by a national or local health authority. Following that, we will look at five different pieces of specialized software and analyze how well they have worked thus far.
In April 2020, the Australian authorities began employing a tracking program called COVIDSafe. The Singaporean government created COVIDSafe. It employs the BlueTrace system, which alerts customers if they are within five feet of an infected person for fifteen minutes or longer.
The program stores a user’s contact information for 21 days. This timetable was chosen after considering the two-week incubation period as well as the length of time necessary to establish that a positive test result was achieved. COVIDSafe has been downloaded over a million times from Google Play to date, and it is available to all Android users running an operating system version greater than 5.0. A high quantity of battery depletion, significant consumption of processing power, and loading points are common complaints with COVIDSafe.
PlayStudios’ program, COVID Hint, was published in August 2020. The file, which is 21.6 megabytes in size, is accessible for free download to Nevada residents. PlayStudios is a game development company that was founded in the summer of 2011 and now has offices in Texas, California, and Nevada. PlayStudios specializes in creating casino-themed apps for Android smartphones. Andrew Pascal, one of PlayStudio’s numerous founders, approached Jim Murren, the chairman of the Nevada COVID Activity Power, about building a COVID tracer app.
Mr. Murren was thrilled about the proposal and enthusiastically backed it. COVID Hint’s functioning is nearly identical to that of COVIDSafe. However, it has not attained widespread success, with only slightly more than 100,000 Google Play installs during the length of its life.
The tagline “Let’s safeguard one another” serves as the marketing slogan for a piece of software developed in Canada by the e-commerce business Shopify and Health Canada, the government department in charge of the country’s health standards. COVID Alert was published on Google Play at the end of July 2020, but only for residents of Ontario. It was made available over the entire country by October of the preceding year.
COVID Alert is now unavailable in all provinces except Alberta. It is particularly fond of the ABTraceTogether program. The BlueTrace protocol is employed in this approach as well as the other two cell tracking methods previously covered. It has over a million downloads on Google Play, compared to three for the typical app. Customers’ main concern is that the program would be recognized while doing publicity scanning. The majority of COVID Alert suggestions have been good.
Keep An Eye On Covid.
Covid Watch is a non-profit corporation founded in February 2020 to create mobile technologies to combat COVID-19 while protecting client information. It is a publicly accessible piece of software that employs the TCN and GAEN protocols. More than 200 people who wanted to help make Covid Watch a reality contributed their time, allowing the initiative to get off the ground and operate.
These people included epidemiologists, legal students, and public health consultants, among other things. This charity organization decided to close its doors after the preceding fiscal year. Anyone residing in Arizona, on the other hand, may still download the app from Google Play. Despite the acclaim it has earned for its ease of use, this software has not garnered much popularity.
According to Carnegie Mellon College, one of the many groups supporting NOVID, this contact tracking program is the most accurate one accessible right now. It uses ultrasonic technology created by a group led by mathematician Po-Shen Loh in addition to Bluetooth technology. It has been offered in some places since 2020 and has garnered extremely good reviews. It possesses unequaled classification accuracy, with a charge of more than 90% at distances of twelve feet or fewer.