Sure we will all have heard about the NHSX Contact Tracing App currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight, if proves effective expected to roll out nationally in due course.
The app will use Bluetooth Low Energy which will keep track of Handsets and relay Data. The App will be able to determine when a user experiencing symptoms has come into significant contact with other people using the app and therefore build a Traceable Map. It will rely on self reporting on an anonymous basis, users though will need to enter the first part of their Postcode. The system is voluntary but reports have suggested it will require a take up rate of around 60% to be effective.
Other European countries have similar approaches but most are using a decentralised system where the Data is only shared on the handsets, whereas in the UK and France for instance are using a centralised approach where all the Data ends up on a centralised server for processing. The NHS can get more information on how the disease is spreading if users share location Data, however there are greater privacy risks and they will not be using the technology developed by Google/Apple. https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/news/151988-nhs-contact-tracing-app-wont-use-apple-google-solution
I do have some concerns but think it is beneficial to have contact tracing assisted by technology, in addition to other methods. I think it is likely that I will be using the app, though everyone of course can draw their own conclusions. I will post two articles here giving somewhat different prospectives on the Technology.
Yes need to consider the balance of benefits/risks and ensure you have some awareness before downloading these types of apps. Though of course depends whether you wish to take certain aspects on trust.
The App has apparently run into some problems and apparently there will will be a bit of delay before it rolls out. Security and privacy problems have been identified by researchers , though functionality also an issue in the trial.
Traditional contact tracing though will be used throughout the Uk ,utilising technology with the app really being an additional tool https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-Role of Contact Tracers
Bit of a PR calamity, yesterday the Uk's Digital Minister said the app may not be ready till the winter and it was not a priority (somewhat of a shift) . A bit of problem with Apple Devices on the trial. to say trhe least. Reports now that there may be a switch to the Google/Apple model or at least based on it. Other countries though have also faced challenges and the Bluetooth Technology has not always proved accurate in terms of estimating distances, more so with Apple/Google model. The decentralised approach not without issues, You may need to register for Guardian articles but there is no subscription (remains free and only asks for email/password).
The apps have proved not to be a magic bullet but think could still be of value (as long as effective obviously) particularly when contacts increase (such as random ones when there is greater use of public transport). I notice that the number of new infections in Netherlands is low just now mind you.
In latest Briefing Govt/Head of Contact/Trace cannot give date when app may be operational,speculation it may be lauched in the autumn but did involve contact tracing at that point. Later heard that Northern Ireland will be developing their own app to ensure compatibility with the Republic. Previously the devolved Scottish Government said they would use the NHS app as additional tool provided it was secure and fitted with their systems.
Technology always has great value, but requires great responsibility and has great risks, especially combined with medical information and the decision on how long it's stored. It's better to delay it than to do it the "wrong way"
That said, in my country the general testing is available and everything is very much under control In my province less than 1% of the test are positive and the majority of the people hospitalised where transported from other places earlier during the crisis
But yeah, the GGD's (The government organs that handle the contact research) can handle the contact research quite well!
Here are a few figures of the total IC's in use. The first figure is the new people that are being accepted with Covid19, the second one is the total number being treated.
At this moment I'm more afraid of a second wave, but it's very much under control and people/organizations are following government recommendations so it's fine ^-^
@SjorsK Well yes true a delay better than having adverse effects and not truly considering the ethics, however think challenge was underestimated and could have learned more from other nations.
Obviously traditional contact tracers play big role and should handle the research well. Trend certainly seems positive, though cannot take anything for granted.