Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Aarogya Setu App : How it works and why every smartphone user in India should use it to combat COVID-19 crisis

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Aarogya Setu is a mobile App developed by Government of India to empower Indians to combat the COVID-19 crisis.It is currently available in iOS and Android platforms.The main features of the App are :-
1. The app estimates your risk of Corona virus (COVID-19) infection based on whether you have ever come in proximity to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

2. It has a self-assessment test that will enquire you with a set of questions to assess whether you have the symptoms of COVID-19 and provides relevant advice.

3. It features the Do's and Don'ts, safety measures to be taken against COVID-19, helpline numbers and other stuff to create awareness among the people to combat against the pandemic. Govt. of India (GoI) is continuously updating the app to provide the latest information and updates.

Now, coming to How this App works (in brief) according to sources from GoI :
Upon installation, the App requires to switch-on Bluetooth and GPS to "Always".The App detects other devices with the Aarogya Setu  app installed that have come in the Bluetooth / GPS proximity of your phone and captures this information to prepare a social graph. In the unfortunate case of any of those recent contacts test positive, the App calculates your risk of infection based on recency and proximity of your interaction and recommends suitable action.

Based on the above working principle of the App, it is pretty clear that the efficiency of this App can increase when more and more users in India install and use it since it leverages App-to-App communication between the phones in Bluetooth / GPS proximity.Further, it will facilitate faster tracking and tracing of infected individuals by Govt. agencies.
However, it is not clear whether the App would require Internet connectivity all the time as the same hasn't been explicitly clarified by any official of GoI till date.Further, needless to say many people in our country don't own a Smartphone.Hence, such individuals even if infected can't be detected with this initiative.
Allaying privacy concerns, Principal Scientific Advisor to GoI has tweeted that the App has a privacy-first design and all communication from the App to other devices and server is encrypted and secure which has been rigorously tested.

In these trying times, it is indeed an innovative initiative and inspite of certain inconvenience like keeping Bluetooth and GPS "Always ON",privacy concerns etc. we should focus on the larger objective and make the best use of it to combat and triumph over COVID-19.

Download Link : Android Users     |     iOS Users

Toggle Footer