Media reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing a COVID-19 self-examination application. In addition to initially screening people for new coronaviruses by asking for symptoms, officials are also considering whether to connect with Apple and Google’s Bluetooth tracking systems. Previously, many regions and organizations have enabled new coronavirus diagnostic and tracking tools to provide information on the need for COVID-19 testing, while actively cooperating with local anti-epidemic front-line personnel.
The first version of the software is expected to arrive later this month.
The CDC notes that as a cunning virus, many people do not experience symptoms for up to 48 hours in the first 48 hours of infection, but individuals can still be contagious.
While the app under development is not expected to be supported by all countries, WHO Chief Information Officer Bernardo Mariano told Reuters:
The move is expected to help countries with short resources, which are likely to lack the technology and engineering staff to build internal systems.
For the past few weeks, WHO has been actively promoting the development of the app, and the finished code will be released open source on GitHub.
While the main function of the app is to allow people to assess their symptoms and provide timely advice on field testing for suspected infected people, WHO is also considering adding new features.
While some controversy has arise, the follow-up of close contacts to the new coronavirus is crucial to epidemic prevention and control.
The current lying scenario is to record logs using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, and if anyone is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, authorities can send risk notifications to anonymous third parties for follow-up.
Apparently, WHO application development engineers have contacted Apple and Google. The tech giant recently announced that it is working on a close contact notification system that can be used on iOS/Android mobile devices.
Both companies have built a complex system while keeping the processes as anonymous as possible. Even so, some privacy advocates have expressed concern about it, and even the WHO’s official app can’t be fully trusted.
In response, Bernardo Mariano promised that the WHO would try to avoid risks, and that the two tech giants had promised not to use the data for any other purpose, and that systems and data would be deleted and disabled after the boom.