4 days, 10M downloads: Aarogya Setu app plays key role in India's coronavirus fight

In a conversation with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma, Professor K Vijayraghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, talks about how the newly-launched Aarogya Setu app is playing a key role in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of tech and public participation.

Aarogya Setu is a mobile application developed by the government of India to connect citizens to essential health services in the combined fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The app is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the government, particularly those of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in proactively reaching out and informing the app’s users about the risks, best practices, and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19.

The Aarogya Setu app is considered to be the official source of all coronavirus-related information, and an important tool to curb the spread of COVID-19. the information is vetted by the government's Department of Health.

The app supports a host of Indian languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, and English, to help the diverse population across states gain access to crucial information with ease. A feature phone edition of the app is also in the pipeline and should be out soon to improve accessibility to the information. 

Developed by an extraordinary team of young engineers, the app is a unique example of the nation’s young talent coming together, pooling resources and efforts to respond to a global crisis

“It took great courage for some people to put together, put themselves together, and drive this. There are multiple officials of the government involved as well,” says Professor K Vijayraghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

“I'm really impressed at the speed with which this was done. What is important to keep in mind is the incredible shared sense of common purpose, which brings this team together this young team together to do this is really, really inspiring,” he says.

In just three days since its launch, the Aarogya Setu app has notched up five million downloads on the Google Play Store; it currently stands at 10 million downloads. It has also become one of the top free apps in India on both Google Play and App Store. While the App Store does not mention metrics like the number of downloads, Aarogya Setu is occupying the top spot in the Health and Fitness, and the free apps sections.