NAT SCREENSHOT 123-1586604877003
Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) has launched an app that can help authorities contact and trace people that have come into close contact with patients that have tested positive for COVID-19.

The app – TraceCovid – allows users to detect other smartphone devices that have also installed the same app, and so when users come into contact with one another, a secure tracing identifier (STI) is exchanged through the app and will be stored on each user’s smartphone.

NAT SCREENSHOT 1-1586604873490
Screenshots from the COVID-19 tracker App video Image Credit: Supplied

The STI will contain the records of people that a user has had close contact with, and so if that user is infected with coronavirus, authorities will be able to check the STI list and find out who the person has been in contact with. The app will allow authorities to act faster when it comes to contact tracing as they will have a direct record of just who the person has come into contact with.

According to the DoH, TraceCovid uses Bluetooth wireless technology for exchanging data over short distances. When the app detects another device with TraceCovid, the STI is exchanged between both devices and stored locally. In order to work, users will have to keep their Bluetooth on at all times after they download the app.

UAE uses bluetooth to combat coronavirus Abu Dhabi Department of Health

The DoH also made clear that a user’s privacy would not be compromised, as the app will not collect any personal identifiable information, with the STI only consisting of anonymised data and a timestamp.

The app can work on both iOS and Android devices, and can be downloaded on through the App Store or on Google Play. Full details about the app can be accessed directly on its official website

NAT SCREENSHOT 1233-1586604878460
Screenshots from the COVID-19 tracker app video Image Credit: Supplied

How does it work?

Once downloaded, the app will be able to detect other users who have also downloaded the app on their smartphone. After the app detects another user, this information will be saved and can be accessed later on by the relevant authorities. If a user gets tested for COVID-19, authorities can go through the data and quickly find out just whom the person came into contact with.