Government launches AarogyaSetu mobile app to track spread of COVID-19
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Government launches AarogyaSetu mobile app to track spread of COVID-19

April 4, 2020

New Delhi: The Ministry of Electronics and IT launched a mobile app called AarogyaSetu which will help people in identifying the risk of getting affected by the Coronavirus.

“The app built through public private partnership assesses them the risk for their catching the Coronavirus infection. It will calculate this based on their interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence,” an official statement said. 

The core function of the app remains the same as the beta version: Using your phone’s location data and Bluetooth to assess if you’ve been near a person who was infected by COVID-19, by looking through a database of known cases. 

Once installed in a smart phone, the app detects other nearby devices with AarogyaSetu installed. The app can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive. 

The app specifies that all your data is on the device in an encrypted form. Looking at the code, it sends your data to the server in an anonymous form to check if you’re near an infected person. To do that, the app will rely on Bluetooth to check if you’ve been within six feet of an infected person.

“The App will help the Government take necessary timely steps for assessing risk of spread of COVID-19 infection, and ensuring isolation where required,” it said. The app is available in 11 languages and has been launched on both Andriod and IoS.

The app shares your data with the Government in case you’ve been tested positive for Coronavirus or have been in close contact with a person who was tested positive. For what it’s worth, the app’s privacy policy suggests your data won’t be shared with third-parties.

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The Mobile app also has some nifty features such as a chatbot to help you determine if you may have Coronavirus symptoms, rolling updates from the Health Ministry, and a list of helpline numbers for each State in India.

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