April 23, 2020

How Big Tech Tracing May Assist in Re-Opening the Economy

EXCERPT: There may be technology available to help open up the economy after devastating coronavirus lockdown, thanks to a collaboration between Google and Apple.

Tracking coronavirus infections may be as simple as the use of an app, which can help slow the spread and ultimately help open up the economy.

Can technology help put an end to a stalled economy stemming from the coronavirus crisis?

Recently, tech giants Apple and Google announced that they would be partnering up to help keep tabs on the widespread pandemic, according to a recent article published in The Economist. Knowing who is infected and who isn't is key to curbing the spread of the virus. Widespread testing has been touted as a crucial component of flattening the curve, but accessing kits and keeping up with a backlog of tests can make this difficult.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have been depended on to get past the peak of coronavirus infections and deaths, but perhaps Apple and Google may be onto something that could streamline these efforts. Given the prevalence of mobile devices among people all across the globe and the vast number of Google searches made every day, the idea of using technology to track the virus may be reasonable.

Using Apps to Trace Infections

The two companies will make use of Bluetooth protocols to help unify both networks and make it easier to generate apps to trace contacts.

Some countries are already creating their own tracking apps of sorts, including the US, Britain, and Germany, among others.

The apps will broadcast a unique set of numbers and letters for each handset, which will be detectable by any other device within a specific Bluetooth range. The app will listen for strings of numbers that other phones broadcast at the same time. Every phone with the app will record all character strings heard and all the devices it's been near.

Apple and Google have reportedly teamed up to develop a means of technologically tracking COVID-19 infections to help slow the spread.

When a person tests positive for the coronavirus, a different string of characters will be broadcast by authorities to all other apps in the network. These character strings will tell all apps contacted to look for specific records collected.

If a match is found, the response will depend on the entity that put the app in action. Likely, the common response would be to notify the individual and request that they be tested. This will help to identify infections quickly, after which the affected individual can take the proper precautions to avoid infecting others.

Ending the suffocating lockdowns would come much sooner if more widespread testing and rapid results occurred, which would help assure authorities that the virus is not spreading. But the expense related to this would be high. Instead, contact tracing could be helpful by getting those who are more likely to be infected to be tested, and apps may be able to help with this.

Lenders Urged to Revisit Their Loan Portfolios

Such apps may be in the works, but people and businesses need help today as the economy continues to collapse under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic. And the lenders who hold loans for those who may no longer be able to keep up with loan payments are also at risk.

As such, lenders need to be prudent and take immediate steps to hedge against risk, and balancing their loan portfolios is a great way to accomplish this. Selling off risky long-term assets and acquiring stronger, shorter-term loan assets can help create a more robust portfolio that can withstand economic uncertainty, and Garnet Capital can help with that.

Register for our online portfolio auction system today.