Thanks to the popularity of smartphones and smart devices, we have grown to love them and can’t live without them. They may also be helping with the Coronavirus too. At the best of times, our smartphone can be a lifesaver, helping us order an Uber home or to help monitor our health stats such as heart rate. However, with all the advantages comes disadvantages too, and there are some downfalls to using smartphones. One of the biggest has been how often and how much we interact with them, exposing ourselves to constant high levels of radiation. The likes of social media and the ability to watch our favourites while out and about makes them significantly interactive and hard to put down.
A survey carried out by Dscout has found that users tapped, swiped and clicked their smartphones 2,617 times on average per day with heavy users coming in at 5,427 touches a day. Participants used their phones for 2.42 hours on average per day, and for heavy users, it rocketed to 3.75 hours. The study also showed that users used a range of 700 different apps over five days. Their findings also found that communication apps like Facebook, as shown below, outweighed information gathering apps such as Google. Social media and messaging apps totalled 26% and 22% of interactions on a whole. Whereas internet browsers only comprised 10%.
With the heavy use of smartphones in mind, they have proved to be life-saving pieces of equipment in many ways but especially in the fight against Coronavirus. As the number of cases surge in areas such as South Korea, preventative methods have seen people in the country turning to smartphone apps to help avoid contamination, but how?
Since the break out of Covid-19, the technical term for Coronavirus, there have been a few newly developed apps which use public government data to help users identify how close they are to where a Covid-19 positive patient has been. Users of these smartphone apps can also see the date a patient was confirmed to have the virus and demographic data about the patient along with some of their location history to help prevent the spread. One app called Corona 100m alerts users if they come within 100m of a location which has been visited by someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Developers of these apps have noted a surge in downloads which has helped some the apps reach the week’s most downloaded apps in South Korea. The creator of Corona 100m has notably seen an increase of about 20,000 downloads of the app every hour and the app has been downloaded over 1 million times since the launch of it less than a few weeks ago. The increasing numbers of people infected with the virus mean it is good to know that our beloved smartphones can come to our aid in a time of need.
As the benefits of using a smartphone come to light it seems that South Korea are not the only ones using smartphones to help combat the virus. In Japan, a Japanese medical advice organisation has made its app free for a short time, letting users consult with medical doctors about their symptoms. This method acts as a preventive method in spreading the virus and helps to eliminate the number of physical interactions with those who might have the virus. It will also help users gather vital medical advice in a short amount of time.
As pharmaceutical organisations work around the clock in the fight to find a vaccine for the Coronavirus, apps such as Corona 100m can help prevent the spread of it and help bring awareness.
As the virus makes its way around the world and to other populated cities, it is essential to be as informed as possible and follow preventive measures to help keep you and those around you Coronavirus free. In the weeks and months to come, and thanks to the existing apps, we might see a whole new range of apps enter the app market which can help users prevent the spread and create Coronavirus awareness.
By Yasmita Kumar, who is a writer and have been writing about various topics over many years now. I enjoy writing about my hobbies which include technology and its impact on our everyday life. Professionally I write about Technology, Health and Fashion and previously worked for the NHS.
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