Track and trace solution up and running in Scotland

9/16/2020

NHS Scotland has launched its COVID-19 track and trace app.

The solution – which is known as Protect Scotland – leverages Bluetooth to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with someone with the virus. It is based the same technology as the Republic of Ireland and Northern Irish proximity tracing apps.

According to a statement, the solution uses “encrypted, anonymised codes exchanged between smartphones.” It does not store details on individuals or their location.

Speaking of the app, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “[This] launch is a welcome development which will offer an additional level of protection, supporting NHS Scotland’s test and protect system as it works to drive down the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

“The more people who download and use the app, the more effective it can be in helping to make connections that may otherwise have been missed. This will allow people to self-isolate quickly if they are exposed to the virus, reducing the risk of them infecting others.”

The solution was built by software developers NearForm. CEO of the company, Cian Ó Maidín, said: “This open source technology was built with privacy and data protection at its core and, through anonymous keys, allows Scottish citizens to engage, protect each other and break transmission chains.

“The Scottish Government has taken a great approach, using open source software, that has been peer reviewed and rolled out successfully in Ireland and Northern Ireland."

Close contacts are defined as people who have been within two metres of someone who has tested positive, for 15 minutes.

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Philip Mason
Editor, Critical Communications Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0)20 3874 9216
Philip.mason@markallengroup.com

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