22 Aug COVID-19 Apps and their use in the pandemic
Article by Shannon Flynn talks about how the Covid-19 apps are helping Ireland fight the pandemic and how can they potentially bring new solutions to the country
Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland has proved to be challenging. While it has by no means conquered the virus, its infection rate is minuscule compared to some other nations.
Technology, specifically smartphones, has played a central role in keeping numbers relatively low.
Today, there’s an app for everything, from ordering food to managing your taxes. In some countries, apps can help people know if they might’ve contacted someone with COVID-19.
These services are helping Ireland fight the pandemic and could help other areas with more severe outbreaks as well.
Apps-Based Contact Tracing
On July 7, the Health Service Executive (HSE) launched COVID Tracker, which 37% of Irish adults downloaded within a week.
The app alerts users if someone they contacted recently tests positive for COVID-19. That way, they can quarantine before showing symptoms, ensuring they don’t spread it to anyone else.
COVID Tracker relies on Google and Apple’s Exposure Notifications System to enable communication between phones.
This joint project uses Bluetooth to exchange data between nearby phones without needing users to open an app. It also uses random IDs that change periodically to keep everyone’s privacy intact.