NHS (National Health Service) has introduced a newly contact-tracing app, designed and built by the UK’s NHS for controlling the spread of Coronavirus outbreak. It can facilitate digital contact-tracing on a larger scale. The app was tested on the Isle of Wight and it went on live on May 5. The app will be launched in various parts of the UK in June.
The main purpose of the contact-tracing app is to let the people know if they have come in close contact with the COVID 19 patient. Also, it will inform you if you have got in touch with people, who were later confirmed with COVID.
Let’s see how does the COVID 19 contact-tracing app works?
- Download the app from Apple or Google app store!
- Turn on the ‘Bluetooth’ feature, to detect the other phones with the same app running in their device.
- While setting the app, the user will have to enter the first section of their postcode. It will help the NHS officials to detect the infection-based hotspots.
- The app will be running in the background of your device. The Bluetooth facility will provide the details of nearby COVID 19 patients, in every 15 seconds.
- When a user undergoes the COVID symptoms, they can report it in the app. Followed by which, they are inquired about a series of clinical questions.
- The answers put forth by the users will be examined by the AI-based program of NHS.
- If the AI program categorizes the symptoms under COVID 19 infection, the user has to isolate themselves for 14 days.
- The AI will also monitor the contacts that have come in close with the infectious person (via the logged contacts in the app). Further, they will help to analyze the potential risk of each person.
- When a user experiences symptoms, similar to COVID 19, they will be redirected to the area where they can get the swab test done. During the Isle of Wight trial run, it was done via a call center.
- Once the user is tested positive, the contact-tracing team will track down the people who came in contact with the infected person. Also, a second test on the primary test is carried out. And if the result comes out to be negative, the team will inform the contacted people to stop their quarantine.
Presently, the app works only on the Isle of Wight. For the easy functioning of the app, all you need is to have the Bluetooth facility on your device and enable the incoming of notifications. To receive the notifications, you need to turn on the ‘Location Services’. Remember, the app does not gather any location data.
What can the other people see in the contact-tracing app?
The contact-tracing app will automatically search for the other devices that are using the same app. If your device finds another one, they will exchange the following information over the app.
- The daily ID of the other app
- Encounter date
- Power and strength of the Bluetooth signal
- The time duration of the phones (during contact)
If you come across the person daily or frequently, each time, the app will display a different daily ID. If you experience the COVID 19 symptoms, the people who came in contact with you will receive the alert messages of being exposed to the virus. This will enable them to get a quick check-up done at the nearby center.
It’s all about helping the people stay safe from the outbreak of the deadly COVID 19, alias Coronavirus.