Utilizing Exposure Notification API for Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps

Utilizing Exposure Notification API for Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps

For the longest time, traditional human contact tracking was the method of choice in the event of a pandemic.

But a more high-tech tracking process has emerged, thanks to smartphones and apps. More specifically, a contact tracing app can help determine the spread and stop corona virus from spreading further.

Apple and Google Exposure Notification API

At the heart of any contact tracing app is an engine called Exposure Notification API. Tech giants Apple and Google has set strict ground rules on how public health authorities could gain access to the API:

  • Only one app is allowed per country.
  • The app must never request permission to access Location Services or compile data for any other purpose than COVID-19 exposure notification.
  • The app may only be used by an official government authority and to respond to COVID-19.
  • App users must agree on the API usage, and the app operators must be given consent before sharing a test result.

Contact Tracing Implementation

How does the contact tracing app work in large scale? First, it’s downloaded on a smartphone. From there, it utilizes the devices’ built-in features such as Bluetooth and notification services.

A typical scenario goes like this- the Exposure Notification API communicates with other iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth in a secure environment.

The health authority will have a database where it collects these encrypted key data. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can input the result in the app, and if another smartphone has a ‘key’ match then it will get a notification.

Creating a Contact Tracing App

Public health organizations must use the Exposure Notification API moving forward. Organizations and businesses can utilize other engines and ecosystems in an effort to identify and curb any outbreak from happening in the workplace. Also, an employee app can bridge the communication gap between the workforce and leaders to establish a safer and trusting environment.