Despite the promise, the U.S. Many people in are adopting COVID-19 exposure applications

REALITE, NC (AP) – Six months ago, Apple Pal and Google unveiled a new smartphone tool Designed to notify people who may be exposed to coronavirus, without disclosing any personal information. But for the most part, Americans are not interested in all that.

U.S. Less than half of the states and territories – a total of 18 – have made such technology widely available. And according to an Associated Press data analysis, most Americans at such locations have not activated the tool.

Data from 16 states, Guam and the District of Columbia show that 8.1 million people used the technology at the end of November. It is one of 14 of the region’s 110 million inhabitants.

In theory, such applications could promote one of the most difficult tasks in controlling an epidemic: detecting contacts of people infected with the coronavirus and isolating them if necessary. Experts and users say that, in practice, widespread COVID-19 misinformation, technical complexity, deprivation of health workers needed to confirm a diagnosis, and general lack of awareness have presented all the obstacles, experts and users say.

“A lot of things work against it,” said Jessica Vitak, an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s Working Ledge Information Studies. “Unfortunately, the U.S. In, Kovid’s politics are much more than any other country. I think it affects people’s desire to use tools for their track. “

Charlotte, North Carolina, attorney Evan Metacostos was thrilled to learn about his state’s tracking application, called SlocoVIDNC, in November. He immediately downloaded it and found his parents and pregnant wife to follow.

But they’re still the state’s outliers, which launched the app with little fanfare in September. Of the approximately 10.5 million state residents, only 482,003 had installed it by the end of November alone.

“It won’t work best unless everyone uses it, but it’s better than nothing,” Metacostos said.

Apple Plus and Google have developed the primary technology behind such apps, which use Bluetooth wireless signals to detect anonymous detection when two phones are passing nearby. If an app user tests positive for a virus, that person’s phone may trigger a notification They have spent time with others – without disclosing names, locations or any other identifying information.

In states like Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and Washington Washington, as well as Washington Washington, DC, iPhone users don’t even need to download the app. In fact, Apple prompts users to activate the notification system by adjusting their phone settings through pop-ups.

In these states, the adoption rate is significantly higher. But, even in the very successful state of Connecticut, one-fifth of all residents prefer this trek. On Friday, Washington told Washington that more than 10 million state residents – About 13% of its population – activated the technology in its first four days.

The Virginia COVIDWISE application launched on August 5 and was the first to survive. Since then, less than one in ten residents have downloaded it, however, the state estimates that about 20% of Virginians between the ages of 18 and 65 have done so via smartphone. Delaware’s app downloads about 7% of the state’s population.

All other U.S. analyzed. Adoption rates are much lower in the states.

New York launched its application on 1 Oct October. It recently surpassed 1 million downloads, or 5% of the population. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have seen low usage, with a 4% download rate.

Wyoming, North Dakota, Michigan, Nevada and Alabama also have low adoption rates, with users representing only 1% to 3% of their state’s population. Links to apps and instructions for iPhone notification activation are usually available on state health department websites.

Irish app developer Neorform says more than a quarter of Ireland’s population uses its COVID-19 application. New York York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware: U.S. It is difficult to get such traction in four states.

In Ireland, “all sides of the political divide have come together with a consistent message about this, which we need to do,” said Larry Brain, chief commercial of Neriform. “That discussion is furious on your side of the lake.”

Elsewhere in Europe, uptech has been mixed. Germany and Britain have similar admission rates to Ireland; In Finland the figure is 45%, according to data compiled by the MIT Technological Review G Review.. In France, however, less than%% of the population is using the official COVID application, which avoids the Apple Pull-Google approach to a more intrusive data collection system that also raises privacy concerns and technical issues.

Security experts praise the Apple Pull-Google system for protecting users’ anonymous names, but for many it’s hard to sell. American users say participation has been low around COVID-19 due to bias, privacy concerns and stigma. Lack of state and federal efforts to raise awareness has not helped.

Both have no technical and bureaucratic questions.

North Dakota Grand Forks loan officer Lee MF Kafrland was eager to download his state’s Care 19 warning app, but said he could not push the “notify others” button after the virus went viral in late October.

“If you test positive, the public health officer will call your code and verify it,” a message on McFarland’s application said. “This ensures that only tested positive COVID-19 people can send a notification.”

McFarland said he forgot to tell the health worker who had the app installed on his phone. He failed to follow up with the worker to get the required code, and then the application was deleted.

Even when that process works, many North Dakotans don’t really push the button to notify others.

Tim Brookins, CEO of app developer ProudCrude, said 91 of North Dakota’s 14,000 active users endorsed him positively by the state after enabling his “Notify Others” button. Out of 91 users, only 29 pressed the button, prompting 50 notifications.

Still, many users say they will keep the app in the hope that others will see its potential benefits.

“You could say about almost anything that not enough people are doing this or that, but everything that does something helps,” said David Vacher, general contractor for Lenoir, North Carolina. “I think the United States can use a good strong dose of e pluribus anam and stop thinking about the self and start thinking about our countrymen.”


O’Brien reported from Providence, Rhode Island. AP reporter Calvin Chan contributed from London.


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