CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the Unites States shared a document that covers the preferred criteria for digital contact tracing apps. According to their criteria, Apple and Google’s upcoming contact tracing system matches these elements.
It was previously reported that Apple and Google have announced a collaboration to develop a contact tracing platform that uses Bluetooth technology, which aims to help governments and health agencies worldwide. This is part of their efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 with the use of technology.
CDC’s document that covers the criteria for digital contract tracing tools is something that American health authorities will use to guide their choice of preferred system. It also includes graphs to show both minimum criteria and preferred criteria for the apps, as well as sorting the criteria for case management, proximity tracking or both.
The minimum capabilities for digital contact tracing tools include enabling manual and automated notifications to known contacts and enabling public health authorities to initiate follow-ups with known contacts and collect longitudinal data. As for preferred criteria, it’s a lot more detailed. Technical attributes are also sorted in ‘minimum’ or ‘preferred’.
You can access the document here for further details.
Even though Apple and Google’s contact tracing system has the right criteria based on the standards of the CDC, there is a 60/40 split with Americans when it comes to their willingness to use the software for contact tracing. 41% of respondents wouldn’t feel comfortable letting the app know they had tested positive.
Apple and Google’s software uses anonymous Bluetooth data, not GPS location data. However, South Korea, a country that has yet to impose a lockdown, managed to show a continuous ‘flattened line’ in their COVID-19 case graph through thorough location tracking. Whereas countries like Singapore shows a second wave of COVID-19 cases after introducing their own contact tracing app that uses Bluetooth instead of location tracking, although these factors aren’t confirmed to be the source of the effects.
We also reported earlier of France that says that a technical obstacle in iOS due to Apple and Google’s upcoming app is preventing its government contact-tracing app from working properly. However, Bluetooth-based contact tracing serves as one more tool to detect and fight the pandemic.