Apple, Google release technology for pandemic apps
Women wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they stand near an Apple store in Beijing, Friday, April 24, 2020. It relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus. The companies said they're not trying to replace contact tracing, a pillar of infection control that involves trained public health workers reaching out to people who may have been exposed to an infected person. But they said their automatic “exposure notification” system can augment that process and slow the spread of COVID-19 by virus carriers who are interacting with strangers and aren't yet showing symptoms. Doug Burgum, a Republican. North Dakota had already launched a location-tracking app that about 4% of state residents are using, higher than other U.S. states with similar apps but falling far short of the participation rate that experts say is needed to make such technology useful.
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