Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 contact-tracing mobile phone app has become the first to launch successfully in the UK.
Stop Covid NI recorded over 300 downloads a day before its formal launch and is simply interrupts the spread of coronavirus by locating people most at risk of catching it and identifying those they may have come in contact with by sending a unique text code to their phone.
With the user’s permissions, the app will release data from the handset to a server so that close contacts also using the app can be traced following a “digital handshake” between their devices.
The intention is to alert close contacts of a patient within a day or two of a positive test.
The App use is voluntary and identifiable information will not be stored to comply with data protection regulations, a Stormont official told the health committee of Assembly members.
The operating system is designed by Google and Apple and its use will require Bluetooth to remain on.
The app will be deployed cross border with the Republic of Ireland where 1.45 million people have downloaded it.