Over the last few months, Saudi Arabia has been working ceaselessly on curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country through various preventive measures and safety initiatives. Last week, its hard work has been rightfully recognized, as the Kingdom is now ranked third globally for its utilization of technology and innovation to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to various local media outlets, the ranking was mostly attributed to the country launching an app that uses Exposure Notification Systems. According to the Google website, this technology was jointly developed by Apple and Google “out of a shared sense of responsibility to help governments and our global community fight this pandemic through contact tracing.”
The website goes on to explain that new exposure notification technology supports and augments efforts by allowing public health authorities to quickly notify people who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19, including those the person might not know directly. The use of technologies such as this has been credited to the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (Sadaia), which worked in cooperation with the Ministry of Health to launch an app called Tabaud (also known as the Social Distancing app) that uses Bluetooth technology to detect nearby devices and COVID-19 related data for 14 days, while alerting who may have come in contact with someone who has the new coronavirus. The app provided complete privacy for users and data is only shared if the user chooses to make it public.
Sadaia has also launched a number of other apps to help combat the ongoing pandemic such as Tawakkalna, used to request and receive movement permits, and to provide people with information about the number of COVID-19 infections in the country, ways to prevent it, placing request for ambulance, medical news issued by the Ministry of Health, and more.