How India is Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 through Technology
COVID-19 has changed our lives. The pandemic has affected a vast number of people across the globe. To prevent more adverse effects, On 2nd April 2020, the Indian Government has launched an app on Android and IOS. The app helps in monitoring people with a high risk of getting infected. As of 14th May 2020, the app already has 101.5 million active users.
Aarogya Setu is a mobile application developed by the Government of India to connect essential health services with the people of India in our combined fight against COVID-19. The App is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the Government of India, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to and informing the users of the app regarding risks, best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19.
— Aarogya Setu app on Google Play Store
When we first signup on the app, it asks us the necessary details about some common COVID-19 symptoms of COVID-19 alongside our age and gender. This information is then used to check our chances of getting infected which is display on the home screen of the app. The app also uses Bluetooth and GPS to warn people if they are coming in the proximity of a COVID-19 patient. The app also helps in educating people about the virus and also displays a lot of relevant information.
Here are some of the distinct characteristics of the Aarogya Setu app:
- Check chances of getting infected based on simple assessment
- Notification when the proximity of a coronavirus positive patient is detected
- List of all the private and public testing labs of COVID-19
- Tips about prevention of coronavirus
- The number of COVID patients and Aarogya Setu app users in the radius of 500m, 1km, 2km, 5km, 10km.
- A media section with informative videos on coronavirus prevention, app features, advice from the doctors, ways to boost immunity and many more
- Overview of all COVID-19 cases in the country with graphs and numbers
- e-pass section to display issued mobility pass
- Option to update whether our sample for testing is collected or not
- Section to donation money in PM Cares fund
As mentioned above, the app uses GPS and Bluetooth. It also takes a lot of personal information. The concern arises about the safety of personal data. Even, some people are saying that the Government is using the app to track its citizens, although none of it is proved yet.
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