The COVID-19 pandemic has led to large-scale disruption in human life. Due to the unavailability of vaccines or a proven treatment, controlling the spread of the disease has become a challenge. Social distancing, testing, isolation and containment have emerged as potent weapons against the infectious disease. The Indian government launched the Aarogya Setu mobile app to track COVID-19 cases in the country, which will help in rapid containment and isolation of infected people. Along with helping people keep safe, the Aarogya Setu app also created a record by attracting 50 million users in just 13 days. Let us take a look at how Aarogya Setu functions and helps people keep safe.
The app works by merging location-based technologies like GPS, short-range communication technology such as Bluetooth and the available data on the spread of the disease to provide critical information to the user. The Aarogya Setu app cautions the user if he/she unintentionally crosses paths with an infected person. It has three main functions—to disperse COVID-19-related information, to track infected people and warn others and to identify potential infections. The government also plans to use the Aarogya Setu app as an e-pass to facilitate movement.
How to use the Aarogya Setu app?
To use the Aarogya Setu mobile app, you will first have to download and install it.
- The tracking app is available on the Google Play Store for Android phone users and on the App Store for iPhone users.
- After installing the app, allow it to use your location. Set ‘location sharing’ to ‘always’. The permission can be changed later.
- Switch on the Bluetooth and preferably keep it switched on for accurate information.
- Enter your mobile number and provide the OTP.
- Enter your gender, name, age and profession.
- Provide details about your foreign travel history in the last 30 days, if any. If you have a travel history, the app will match your data with the ICMR data of people who tested positive and had traveled abroad.
Once you have provided the relevant data and location permissions, the Aarogya Setu starts utilising your data. The data collected from you is encrypted and is only shared with the government. The app feeds your data into a social graph and determines if your area falls under a COVID-19 hotspot. If yes, it will use the Bluetooth technology to determine and caution you if you get within 6 feet of an infected person.
The Aarogya Setu mobile app has a self-testing section also. If you opt for self-testing, you will be asked for a number of questions, mostly about visible symptoms. If the answers suggest any chances of being infected by the disease, it will share the information with the government. Information in the early stages of the disease will help the government take timely actions and facilitate isolation, if necessary.
The chaos caused by COVID-19 has given rise to a number of fake treatments and false information. The Aarogya Setu mobile app is helping the government provide credible information to the public. Through a series of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’, the app gives information about the best practices that can help in preventing the infection.
Aarogya Setu uses complex algorithms, artificial intelligence and data science to help fight COVID-19. Major information technology companies like TCS and Tech Mahindra are also working to add features and improve the app. But without the most basic of protections, the fight against the infection will remain incomplete. One of the most crucial factors is financial protection in the form of health insurance against such uncertain disease outbreaks. You can get a Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance Policy, available on Finserv MARKETS, and be better prepared for the long fight against COVID-19. A health insurance policy bought through Finserv MARKETS will help you cover the hospitalisation and treatment costs in case of COVID-19 infection.
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