Singapore has been one of the most thorough countries in its fight with the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing cutting-edge tech to fight the virus. The country was also among the first ones that realized that not everybody owns a smartphone or a cell, especially seniors citizens, who are at high risk. With this realization in hand, Singapore, alongside TraceTogether, started working on, and sending Bluetooth COVID-19 offline trackers, that alert the users when someone in the user’s immediate vicinity has come in to contact with the virus.
The Bluetooth pendant works offline, and according to TraceTogether, the devices communicate with each other and only the TraceTogether app. The token manufacturer also addressed privacy concerns, stating that all the user data are being utilized for COVID-19 contact tracing, and TraceTogether will only communicate with nearby phones for a limited time. Data about smartphones near the users is stored securely, and will only be shared with MOH if the user tests positive for COVID-19, for the sole purpose of contact tracing.
The elderly are the main target of these COVID-19 Offline Trackers, but they provide an invaluable weapon in the war against the virus. If a doctor assesses that a user is infected, medical personnel can download, from the token, relevant information and insights about who the patient came into contact with and the area where he was located. TraceTogether tokens have no WiFi, cellular or GPS, and hold only 25 days worth of data. Considering the incubation period of the COVID-19 strain is about ten to fourteen days, the data purge seems to be privacy-oriented and user-concerned. Soon, tokens like TraceTogether will be at the forefront in this COVID fight and, if they don’t present a treat to personal security and protect the user, they can surely make a difference.