US contact tracing apps modelled off Irish software

ireland
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Kenneth Fox
Contact tracing apps which launched today in New York and New Jersey were based on software used in the Irish contact tracing App.

The use of the app, dubbed “Covid Green”, was also central pillar of the launch of the apps in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, Gibraltar and Jersey have also launched their apps based on the ‘Covid Green’.

To date, nearly 2 million people in Ireland have download the app since its launch, with an active user base of 1.3 million. This represents 34 per cent of the adult population in Ireland.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, welcomed the news saying:

“As Minister for Health, I am immensely proud to see other states and countries launching apps based on Irish technology. Ireland has led the way in the development of this innovative technology.

"This is due to the Irish health system’s role in pioneering the rapid advancement of the technology in close collaboration with Apple and Google and our Waterford-based technical partner Nearform.”

Anonymous keys

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He said the core function of the app is to digitally contact trace close contacts of confirmed cases of Covid-19 by swapping anonymous keys through the decentralised approach. In this way it allows for the identification of close contacts who are unknown.

To date, 1,618 users of the Covid Tracker App in Ireland who have tested positive have uploaded their random IDs. Some 3,206 users have received close contact alerts who may not otherwise have been identified.

Minister Donnelly added; “As we reopen parts of our societies, contact tracing apps play a unique role in suppressing the virus by speeding up the contact tracing process and allowing for the identification of close contacts who are unknown to us.

"The Covid Tracker App can identify these close contacts who are sitting near each other on a bus, in line in a shop, at a sporting event, or eating in a restaurant, who otherwise would be unknown to us."

He said in the Irish context the success of the app has been down to the "solidarity of the Irish people" to suppress the spread of Covid-19. He said it is a testament to the efforts of the Irish public.

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