Google & Apple's COVID Contact Tracing Roll-Out

For Apple and Google, Big Health Tech Futures


Source:  Stock Image






Perspective from Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple and Google are launching their

joint coronavirus contact tracing software. They just

provided the first version to Android and iOS 

developers to test it before a broader consumer launch. 

The public launch will happen

when Apple and Google approve the

final public health version. This is a huge move in

tracking the spread of the virus.  Apple alone controls

a whopping 50% of the global smartphone

market.  The contact tracing over their

phones will provide a key means of spotting 

and preventing the spread of the coronavirus,

while protecting individual privacy.


Consumers Opt In or Out

It's up to each individual to decide to opt in or

opt out of the contact tracing technology.  Both

Google and Apple say the system will not

disclose the individual's identity.  For those

who opt in, there will be easy Bluetooth

based contact tracing across iOS and Android

smart phones.  Public health officials are

expected to develop apps for tracking

infections and detect whom the infected

person came in contact with recently.


Apple Health

Interestingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook

believes Apple's most lasting achievement

will be in healthcare.  As he put it:  "If

you zoom out into the future, look back and

ask What was Apple's greatest contribution to

mankind?  It will be about health".

With contact tracing software being rolled

out globally and Apple's smart watches

monitoring your personal health metrics,

you can see the rationale behind

CEO Cook's thinking.


Google's Project Nightingale

Meanwhile, Google has an additional,

huge health related project underway.

It's called Project Nightingale and involves

parsing the health data on tens of millions

of Americans for health care data.  Google

Cloud is partnering with Ascension Health

Care on this data storage and processing

project.  Ascension has 2600 hospitals in

21 states with tens of millions of patient

records being processed.



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