The COVID-19 pandemic is taking the world by storm, forcing people to stay indoors and creating many casualties and affecting people around the globe. In a short time, the virus spread countries, which made it difficult for countries with large populations to track people affected by the virus. This led to many countries building and developing applications that help inactive tracking of the people affected by the virus or people that may be affected by it.
These apps are also used to track infected people, issue self-quarantine guidelines, provide the latest communication to the citizens as well as ease burden on healthcare staff. These apps are a savior as it is diagnosing those affected, identifying COVID-19 hotspots, and providing real-time updates. Some of the popular smartphone apps that are effective during this COVID-19 outbreak include:
This app can be downloaded by anyone having a Singapore mobile number and a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. It is a contact tracing app that tracks infected people and notifies those near the help of Bluetooth. TraceTogether doesn’t collect any data about GPS location or WiFi/mobile network. When two people using the app are nearer, both phones will use Bluetooth to exchange a Temporary ID generated by encrypting the User ID. MOH can only decrypt this UserID. TraceTogether app is developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) in collaboration with MOH.
This app is created and developed in collaboration with Stanford University and empowers people to protect themselves. Users don’t need to share their private data, and the app uses Bluetooth signals to detect users when they are near each other and alerts users anonymously if they were in contact with someone who has tested positive. One of the distinguishing features of CovidWatch is that any third party won’t be able to track which person was exposed by whom. The CovidWatch app is one of the first apps to release an open-source protocol for privacy-preserving and decentralized Bluetooth contact tracing.
This app was launched by the Health Ministry of Israel and uses contact tracing to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The app allows users to detect if, in the past 15 days, they been in proximity to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. It tracks movements of the user through location technology and information, compares with ministry data on whereabouts of the people who are diagnosed. If the data shows that a user has been proximity to an infected person, it redirects the person to the health ministry website where they can easily register for self-quarantine.
This is a German smartwatch app that monitors the spread of COVID-19 by collecting vital signs from volunteers wearing a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. The app tracks whether the users have developed any COVID-19 symptoms or not. These results are then portrayed on an online interactive map with which the health authorities access the situation and find out potential hotspots.
50+ million users downloaded the Indian app ‘Aarogya Setu’ within just 13 days of its launch. It is the most downloaded app in the world to track COVID-19 and is developed by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT to notify users if they have crossed paths with anyone who has been diagnosed as COVID+. The tracking is done through Bluetooth and a location-generated graph that charts proximity with anyone infected. The app also has a self-testing function. The user needs to answer specific questions, and if the answers indicate COVID-19 symptoms, then the information is immediately sent to government servers. The app also provides self-quarantine instructions.
COVID Symptom Tracker
This app is designed by doctors and researchers at the King’s College London and St. Thomas hospitals, in collaboration with a private healthcare company called Zoe Global. The app studies symptoms of COVID-19 and also tracks its spread. The scientists, through this app, analyze high-risk areas in the UK, speed of propagation of COVID-19, and the most vulnerable groups. The app is GDPR compliant.
Let’s Beat COVID-19
LetsBeatCOVID.net app lets users take a short survey about their health and exposure to COVID-19 so that the health services are useful in saving lives. Med Shr developed the app.
This app is produced by the Indonesian Communications and Information Ministry, along with the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry. The app facilitates users to compile data related to COVID-19 spread across their communities and also helps boost the government’s efforts to track confirmed cases. The app cross-references data stored on the phone through Bluetooth.
This app is launched in Poland and collects reams of personal information in its fight to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this app, users upload their selfies when asked by the officials, so that their exact location can be pinpointed. The name ‘Kwarantana Dommowa’ translates to ‘Home Quarantine’ in English.