Apple and Google’s Response to COVID-19

Matthew McKoy ’22

Bluetooth technology: in our modernized and technologically advanced society, bluetooth technology has proved to be a sufficient resource in our daily lives. Bluetooth technology has not only allowed us to establish a system of wireless communication between smart devices, but it has also allowed us to create an electronic line of communication between one another at a low cost. You may be asking yourself in this present moment the true significance of bluetooth technology, as it is ever so often used frequently by the average person. Have you ever wondered if bluetooth technology had the capability to be a revolutionary factor in the use of medical technology?

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, scientists, along with many other medical experts have taken many disciplinary actions in order to contain this worldwide pandemic. However, with a death toll rising exponentially, as well as a retrogressive growth in the number of cases within the United States alone, scientists are in a race against time to find a viable and effective solution to this crisis. What if I told you that the answer that scientists have been looking for, lies in the use of a recurrent form of technology. YES. Bluetooth technology has served to be the solution that scientists have been looking for all along. Most importantly this race against time may have reached its termination, as two of the world’s leading innovators in smart technology join in unison, in order to help bring about a revolutionary technological advancement that will ultimately help in the restoration of society.

Both Apple and Google have been leading revolutionaries in our day and age. As both companies have rivaled and competed for the highest rank in smart technology, Apple and Google have come to a mutual agreement to end this rivalry during this time of crisis. Instead, these companies have chosen to invest their time into the safety of humanity, by developing a mobile application which can help to contain the spread of the ongoing coronavirus. Known as “Trace Together,” users will be allowed to enroll themselves in a program instituted by local health care authorities. Once this application is installed into a smart device owned by the user, they will then be able to keep track of any nearby contacts with other participants who have installed this application, and have enrolled in this worldwide health program.

Essentially, users are not required to disclose any personal information on this application. Primarily this software will help in reduction of long-term tracking for scientists, as it will allow its users to report whether or not they have been diagnosed with the virus. Once the users disclose this information in terms of whether or not they have tested positive, other users will then receive a notification via bluetooth software, which will help to inform them whether or not they have come into close contact with those who are infected. It is evident that Apple and Google have not only created a new technological innovation, but they have helped in the disbandment of loose ends on the COVID-19 infection chain, as they have now created a new age in medical technology. 

Eventually, Apple and Google plan to incorporate this Bluetooth application into their own personal softwares. The companies plan of integrating this application with Apple’s iOS, as well as the operating system used by Google Androids. Essentially, this will allow users to rely less on the app itself, and help in the improvement of many other people who may not be able to download the application. Just last week, Apple and Google were able to improve the overall logistics of the application itself. With the new updated version, the Bluetooth software limits the possible exposure time to 30 minutes, allows its users to set their own distance and exposure times, as well as providing more definition in the messaging notification to its users. This improvement will allow scientists to figure out not only who has been exposed, but it acts as a contributing factor as to when people have been exposed to the coronavirus. As the application used by Apple and Google coincides with all iPhones  running iOS 13, as well as systems running the Android 6 update, there is no doubt that this application will serve as a beneficiary to all, as it applies to an innumerable number of smart devices.

As these innovative actions have been taken by Apple and Google, society will ultimately experience a metamorphosis in the field of technology. Not only will this application be beneficial to the United States, but it can serve as a beneficiary factor to countries which are underdeveloped. Over the course of history, many third-world countries have suffered from the devastation of the impact from a series of viral outbreak. If we as a society are able to fund these countries with this technology, this will ultimately alter the course of medical technology. This application can help to bring about a new age in terms of tracking viral infections, and which can help us to prevent devastating impacts from possible viral outbreaks in the future.