The software, which is built into the operating systems on Google’s Android phones and Apple’s iPhones, uses Bluetooth to tell whether people have spent significant time near one another. If a participant in the exposure notification program tests positive for the coronavirus, that person’s close contacts may get a notification.
“I would say this is an improvement,” said Jeffrey Kahn, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Kahn, who has been studying the use of technology to fight the virus, said states have been hamstrung by indecision around which technology vendors they should use to build their apps, among other issues. He said this may help speed up adoption, but shouldn’t be considered a magic bullet. “It’s still not probably serving all the interests that public health would want, but it’s better than nothing,” he said.
First launched in May, coronavirus tracking software got off to a rocky