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How Aarogya Setu App Helps in Combating Coronovirus

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Recently, the  Aarogya Setu app was launched by the Indian government to self-assess the risk of getting coronavirus disease. Read on to know more…

Recently, the  Aarogya Setu app was launched by the government of India to self-assess the risk of getting coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Within days of the launch of Aarogya Setu app, over 30 lakh citizens have downloaded it. The app is there on both Google Play (for Android phones) and Apple App Store (for ioS). Aarogya Setu app is available in 11 Indian languages including English and Hindi.

Working Mechanism
The app uses your phone’s Bluetooth, and GPS data to track the location and mobile number to check whether you have interacted with someone who could have tested positive for COVID-19. Aarogya Setu is designed to keep an user informed in case s/he has crossed paths with someone who has tested positive.

The app collects data and send it to government servers using phone’s internet connectivity. The whole process runs in background and the user is notified if he/she has come in close proximity to coronavirus positive person.

Installation Process
After installing it, open the app and select the desired language. Aarogya Setu app needs Bluetooth and GPS data. Allow the required app permissions to work. After installing the app, you have to switch on Bluetooth (you are recommended to keep it on at all times) and Location. Then, set ‘location sharing’ to ‘Always’ (you can change this anytime later). It has a tool for self-testing. The user is asked to answer a number of questions. In case some of the answers suggest Covid symptoms, the information will be sent to a government server. The data will then help the government take timely steps and initiate the isolation procedure, if necessary.

You will be alerted if someone you came in close proximity with, unknowingly, tests positive. The app alerts are accompanied by instructions on how to self-isolate and what to do in case you develop symptoms. The data is shared only with the government of India The app does not allow your name and number to be publicly disclosed.

Using the App
The steps required to use the app are as follows:

1. After you’ve run the app, allow it to access your device’s location, as prompted.
2. You’ll get an OTP, enter it and you are on.
3. Choose your gender from the options given.
4. Enter your full name, then age, and then profession, as asked.
5. You’ll be asked about your foreign travel history in last 30 days. Give the appropriate answer. Your foreign travel history, if any, will be matched with that of those who’ve tested positive, with the help of ICMR database.

Then, the app asks you whether or not you are ready to volunteer in the times of need. Assuming you answer Yes, a 20-second assessment test starts.

After you have installed Aarogya Setu in your phone, it will detect other nearby smartphones that also have the app installed. It can then figure out the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive.

The basis of this calculation — which is done using Bluetooth, algorithms and artificial intelligence — is the smartphone user’s interaction with others.

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