What is VirusContact and what’s its goal?
VirusContact is a mobile phone application trying to help to control the spread of COVID-19 by letting the users know if they had been in the proximity of another user, who tested positive for the virus, in the past 14 days. In this case, the app will let you know when, where, from what distance and for how long you were exposed to the virus. Based on this data, you should be able to evaluate if this was a threat and whether you should be tested. The app can be useful for the users to evaluate if their exposure was a real risk.
How does it work?
The app needs permissions to use the phone’s Bluetooth connection, access the location and to run in the background. Using Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) it scans for other Bluetooth enabled devices within it’s range (approximately 10 meters or 33 feet). Whenever it detects an unpaired Bluetooth device in the user’s proximity, it creates a record with the following data (paired devices are assumed to be the user’s own devices and therefore would only bloat the data being collected): Device unique ID, GPS location of the encounter, Date and time of the encounter. Once a user confirms its own infection, all other users who have been met in the past 14 days (incubation period) will be notified of their exposure, with the aforementioned details attached.
How much does it cost?
Using and downloading the application is completely free of charge.