Several countries fighting the coronavirus outbreak are using — or debating — phone apps that trace a person’s movements and who they come into contact with, allowing authorities to keep track of infections and alert people in case of contagion risk.
Asian countries were the first to roll out tracing apps, with China launching several that use either direct geo-localization via cellphone networks, or data compiled from train and airline travel or highway checkpoints.
Their use was systematic and compulsory, and played a key role in allowing Beijing to lift the lockdown and halt contagions, with no new deaths reported since mid-April.
South Korea, for its part, issued mass cellphone alerts announcing locations visited by infected patients, and ordered a tracking app installed on the phone of anyone ordered into isolation — aggressive measures credited with helping curtail the outbreak.
Most other countries, however, have turned to bluetooth tracking via apps that are strongly encouraged but remain voluntary, and let authorities “see” when two people’s devices come into close contact.
Aarogya Setu is a digital service, primarily a mobile application, developed by the Government of India and launched on 2nd April, and is aimed at protecting the citizens during COVID-19. It is designed to augment the initiatives of the Government of India by informing the people of their potential risk of COVID-19 infection and the best practices to be followed to stay healthy, as well as providing them relevant and curated medical advisories.
The app’s name Aarogya Setu, means the “bridge to health” in Sanskrit.
Aarogya Setu is a common bridge to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in India. Aarogya Setu uses contact tracing to record details of all the people you may have come in contact with as you perform your daily activities.
The Aarogya Setu app on your phone detects other devices that have the Aarogya Setu app when they come within the Bluetooth proximity of your phone. When this happens, both the phones securely exchange a digital signature of this interaction, including time, proximity, location and duration. This data is stored on the device of all individuals. In the unfortunate event that any of the people that you came in contact with during the last 14 days, tests positive for COVID-19, the App calculates your risk of infection based on the number of your interactions and the proximity of your interaction and recommends suitable action. This action is displayed on your Home screen. Your updated risk of infection is analysed by Government of India, to facilitate suitable medical interventions, as and when required.
The Aarogya setu app could be further upgraded to provide online medical consultation, online pharmacy and laboratory tests at home in the future.
The App has over 114 million users as on 26th May, which is more than any other Contact Tracing App in the world. The App is available on Android, iOS and KaiOS platforms. Citizens across the country are using Aarogya Setu to protect themselves, their loved ones and the nation. Many youngsters also call Setu as their Bodyguard.
Aarogya Setu, the government’s mobile application developed to track COVID-19 patients, has emerged as a powerful tool to curb the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 as it helped alert authorities about more than 650 hotspots across the country and over 300 “emerging hotspots” which could have been missed otherwise.
We at ImaginXP, are bringing forward a design challenge for all design enthusiasts around the world to re-look at the design and interface of the Aarogya Setu app that applies for all segments of the Indian populace.
This challenge brings an opportunity for design enthusiasts to create a better interface, re-look at the security and data authentication provided on the app and design a Re-imagined Aarogya Setu App that answers to the need of the hour in this crisis.
We hope that your students will actively participate in this design challenge and they stand a chance to be recognised with an elite panel of Jurors for their submission.