The massive monitoring of the footprint of the coronavirus It is a formidable element to fight the pathogen. Unfortunately, we have already learned about the dangers of asymptomatic patients, as well as people who, in the first days after making contact with the pathogen, are already carriers and vectors of diffusion, but are not yet aware of it.. The ideal, of course, would be to be able to submit 100% of the population to analysis, but given that today not feasible for multiple reasonsTracking the presence of the pathogen is, today, a good method to refine the search for those affected as far as possible.

There are many companies in the technology sector that have wanted to make their contribution at this point, and one of the most surprising, without a doubt, has been the collaboration between Apple and Google to develop a tracking system. We already told you about it a few weeks ago, and soon after we told you in detail how it works, and the alarms it had triggered in multiple civil rights defenders.

We speak, of course, of developments (both the Apple and Google APIs and many others in the industry) in which two adverse factors combine: ignorance and haste. Day by day we continue to learn new things about the coronavirus, and sometimes new discoveries invalidate part of what we had previously assumed. But, on the other hand, that cannot stop the progress that is being made, since we need all the possible help in the shortest possible time. This disastrous combination forces us to look simultaneously at what has already been done and what is pending.

This has been the case of the Apple and Google API, which only a few days after being released in version 1.0, has already received its first update, 1.1, published to correct a problem that could cause false positives, something that If not confirmed by a test, it could lead to the confinement of many unaffected people. Specifically, the problem affects the power with which bluetooth detection will be used.

And it is that, in the absence of definition of this parameter, and with excessive intensity it is possible that the API detects an alleged contact between two people who, in reality, are separated by a wall that avoids all risk. From what we know so far of the coronavirus, it does not seem that it is capable of traversing this type of structure, so we would find a detection that, in reality, is not such. To avoid this problem, a specific range has been defined, within which the detection will operate, and which is that between -127 dBm and +127 dBm.

This solution is still not perfect, as there are elements that can interfere with the signal, which is why, at first, a wider range had been chosen. Now, with this adjustment, the risk of false positives is reduced, although it will be necessary to assess the effect this may have on not identifying contacts that have actually occurred. We may see some new adjustment in this regard until we find the sweet spot. However, it should be understood that many numbers will have already been made before reaching this first correction.

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