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Singapore's portable wearable devices to assist in COVID-19 contact tracing

05 June 2020 | News

Consideration of the new portable device to all its residents is because of the limitations of current ''TraceTogether'' app

image courtesy: freepik

image courtesy: freepik

Singapore is reviewing the possibility to distribute a "portable contact tracing device" to assist in its method to contact trace COVID-19 cases in the country.

Ministry in charge of 'Smart Nation initiative' is hoping for a more inclusive solution to ensure protection to everyone in the country. The country with 5.7 million residents has reported 37,000 confirmed cases as of 5 June 2020.

Singapore just ruled out the mandatory use of a contact tracing phone app called TraceTogether as a tool to monitor and track the Covid-19 spread in the country. The new device under development will achieve the same objective as the mobile phone app, but it will be a portable wearable device.

Consideration of the new portable device is based on the limitations of current ''TraceTogether'' app which doesn’t work on iOS or Apple devices since they suspend Bluetooth activity while the app runs in the background. The government has had discussions with Apple Inc. on the issue but has yet to find a satisfactory solution. Hence the app was used by just 1.5million residents out of 5.7million. Also, the app doesn't work well across all smartphones.

Singapore is slowly releasing its partial lockdown, otherwise called ''Circuit-breaker' by gradually releasing the restriction in phase. The Country taking measures on accelerating testing capacity, contact tracing and ensures sufficient health care capacity.

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