Irish Covid Tracker App Developer Brings Technology to US

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After rolling out its app in Ireland and parts of the UK, NearForm launched similar technology in Delaware.

The Irish company behind the country’s Covid-19 contact tracing app is deploying similar technology in the United States. NearForm, based in Waterford, is launching the Covid Alert DE app in the US state of Delaware, in partnership with local authorities, to help track the spread of the coronavirus.

The app is similar to the company’s Covid Tracker Ireland app, which launched in early July. Both are built on the Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google, which identifies when a person comes in contact with another on a given day based on their devices’ Bluetooth “handshakes”.

If a person then voluntarily logs into the app to indicate that they have been diagnosed with Covid-19, anyone else with the app who has recently been in close contact with them will be notified anonymously. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of a person for 15 minutes or more.

Cian Ó Maidín, CEO of NearForm, said the technology has been peer reviewed and successfully deployed in Ireland and parts of the UK.

“The Covid Alert DE mobile app puts the power in the hands of citizens to protect each other in the fight against Covid-19,” he added. “Open source technology was designed with privacy and data protection at its heart. “

While the Covid Alert DE app will be available to anyone over the age of 18 who lives, works, or attends a university in Delaware, it will also allow interoperability across the United States in states that also have applications. exposure notifications based on Bluetooth technology.

Delaware Governor John Carney said the app will be an “important tool” in helping residents of his state stem the spread of the virus.

“Knowing that you have been potentially exposed and taking basic precautions is the best way to protect your most vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors who are at risk of serious illness,” he said. -he adds.

Deployment of Irish technology

The source code for the NearForm app went global earlier this year. In July, the Linux Foundation’s public health initiative chose the app as one of its first two open source Covid-19 projects.

Under the project name Covid Green, the source code has been made available to other public health authorities and their developers around the world for use and customization. In its announcement, the Linux Foundation highlighted the “extraordinarily high” adoption rate of the Covid Tracker Ireland application.

Since its launch, the app has been downloaded by over 1.7 million people. NearForm’s contact tracing technology is now in use in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Scotland.

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