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Israel, “The Shield” will help to track the possible coronavirus exposure

“The Shield” is an APP for Android and iOS, that alerts users in Israel if they have been at a location at the same time as a known coronavirus patient

It’s dubbed “The Shield” and is a mobile APP, that alert users if they have been at a location at the same time as a known Coronavirus patient. It has been released by the Israeli Ministry of Health. According to Bleeping Computer, the app is available for both Android and iOS. It works by collecting the GPS and SSID (WiFi network) information of a user’s mobile device throughout the day. This data is saved only on the mobile device and is not transmitted to the Ministry of Health, other government agencies, or any organization. When interviewing new COVID-19 patients, the Ministry of Health will ask for the locations that they visited throughout the day. If the patient volunteers, this information is then added to a JSON file. This one is downloaded by the app every hour so it has the latest information.

The software compares user’s data to the ones in the downloaded JSON file. It’s still not perfect, but it’s improving and could really useful to identify and isolate carriers without any symptoms

The Shield will compare user’s data to the ones in the downloaded JSON file. If it detects that a person was exposed to a known Coronavirus patient, it will alert him with a message stating that a match was found. Users will then be prompted to report their exposure to the Israel Ministry of Health. The software will also alert if there is no match. Due to the nature of the data collection from patients, there may be false positives while using the app. Doctors, for example, who know that no COVID-19 patient was at a specific location can report these false positives. This will be helpful to correct the data file. It is important to note that this app relies on known information about existing patients. However, it could really useful to identify and isolate carriers without any symptoms.

Photo Credits: Israel Ministry of Health

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