22 Aug COVID Tracker: Essential for our healthcare
David Sprott warns about the low user base of the COVID Tracker in Ireland and discusses ways to extend its reach
The concept of contact tracing is new to us all. In the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, the idea of an app that everyone could use was a silver bullet. A way we could all demonstrate national solidarity in this time of crisis.
But reality is inevitably more complex and even in a crisis takes a little more time. Many countries around the world have tried to develop and deliver contact tracing apps with little success and some high-profile failures.
In Ireland, the HSE launched the Irish COVID Tracker in July. This was in the face of significant public debate and some negativity triggered by overseas experiences, various public interest groups, and a relatively critical media.
It was, therefore, gratifying to see the tech-savvy Irish public get behind the launch with some 1.5 million downloads in the first weeks. This was followed by steady growth thereafter. However, this user base is still way too low.
COVID Tracker- Extending its reach
While the world applauds Ireland’s efforts, as way better than almost any other country, we urgently need to extend its reach. We now understand the contact tracing app is not a silver bullet, rather it’s a vital part of the national contact tracing system.