To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, contact tracing comes into play. This is used to help trace the path of the infection to see who the infected person might have come into contact with, which in turn allows authorities to reach out to them to get them tested and also possibly quarantined to reduce the spread as much as possible.
A lot of the contact tracing efforts we’re seeing with the coronavirus is through smartphones and apps, which makes sense given that a lot of us have smartphones today. However, there are some who do not have smartphones, like the elderly who might still be comfortable using feature phones. This is why the Singapore government has announced that for senior citizens who do not own a smartphone, they can opt to use a Bluetooth tracker instead.
These devices can communicate with each other as well as the TraceTogether smartphone app, so that it will still help with the country’s contact tracing efforts even with users who do not own a smartphone. Should a person with the tracker come into contact with someone who might have the virus, they will then be contacted to let them know they should be checked out, and if it is determined that they have the virus, data from the tracker can then be downloaded to help trace who else the user might have come into contact with.
To address potential privacy concerns, these trackers do not have WiFi, GPS, or cellular capabilities, meaning that the government won’t be able to know the wearer’s whereabouts at all times. It will also only hold 25 days worth of data at most.