A young woman wearing a protective mask looks at her smartphone while passing by a grafitti representing two big watching eyes in Berlin, Germany on April 1, 2020. Illustrative Editorial (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On April 10th, rival companies Apple and Google announced that they were uniting with the goal of creating technology to monitor covid-19 cases and help prevent the disease from spreading further. The system will use bluetooth (wireless communication with short range) from cell phones to track the virus and warn those who have had contact with anyone who was infected.

Check out how the system, which is expected to be launched in May, will work:

1- Anyone with a mobile phone with the Android (Google) or the iOS (Apple) system will be able to download the App.

2- If you spend more than 10 minutes next to someone who is on the same App, the system will save that person’s code on your cell phone. 

3- If one of the people who had contact with you is diagnosed with covid-19, they will be able to inform the system about it. You will then be notified that you had contact with someone who is infected. The person’s name will remain unknown for matters of privacy. 


The companies will not create the App, but will supply information so health authorities in each country can develop their own Apps (in Brazil’s case, that decision will be made by the Ministry of Health).

The plan is that in the next few months the technology will function directly from mobile phone operational systems, thus foregoing the use of Apps. The user will have to manually give permission to be monitored. 

Sources: Agência Brasil, Apple, G1, and Superinteressante

QUESTIONS

1) How will the system that is being developed by the companies work?

a) Bluetooth will identify two people who are close to each other and record this contact. When one is diagnosed with coronavirus, the other will be notified.
b) The system has access to all hospitals and everything people do.
c) The system will measure your temperature and identify symptoms.
d) The new feature will act as databank for all confirmed cases in the world.

2) What else can companies do to help fight the new coronavirus?

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