© Reuters. The Covid Tracker Ireland app in Galway shows a photo
By Padraic Halpin
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Northern Ireland launched the UK's first COVID-19 tracking app on Friday, which can also detect users in another country, Ireland, who have come into contact with someone who has the disease.
NearForm, who hopes the app will become a blueprint for all of Europe, launched a similar app in Ireland on July 8th. Cases can now be tracked across the island's open border by two separate health services.
NearForm's technical director, Colm Harte, said that the technical approach used in the development of StopCovid NI would work with apps in the rest of the UK, and could apply across Europe if countries agreed on how data is exchanged and should be saved.
"It is definitely doable, it is technically very doable because more and more countries are switching to the APIs from Apple (NASDAQ 🙂 and Google (NASDAQ 🙂 (application programming interface)," said Harte Reuters in a telephone interview.
"I think it will happen. I don't know when, but countries across Europe are aware that more people are starting to travel now. This is a problem that needs to be solved."
Britain switched to the same Apple and Google model last month when it dropped a native model that was originally due in May.
NearForm, based in the coastal city of Tramore in Southern Ireland, is building the Pennsylvania contact tracking app and is in talks with other states and governments after Ireland's successful launch, said Harte.
Almost 1.5 million people, or 37% of the population of the Irish Republic over 15 years of age, have downloaded the Irish app since July 8th, and 137 users have been notified through the app that they are in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID- . 19th
Ireland has had one of the lowest infection rates in Europe in the past few weeks, averaging 20 a day to an increase on Thursday. Northern Ireland has a similarly low rate, with no deaths reported since July 12th.
Harte from NearForm said if one of the two apps can break a handful of transmission chains, it will be a success.
"You can have a conversation about how many it has to break before it is considered really successful, but its goal is to break transmission chains. Once it does, it has an impact," he said.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or correct. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. Therefore, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media assumes no responsibility for any trade losses that you may incur from using this data.
Fusion Media or persons dealing with Fusion Media are not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information contained on this website such as data, offers, diagrams and buy / sell signals. Please be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading on the financial markets. This is one of the most risky forms of investment that is possible.