The contact-tracing app being developed by the UK will be ready for testing in a couple of weeks, according to the IT entity contracted by the NHS.
Addressing the Science and Technology Committee House of Commons, Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, said that “we hope in the next couple of weeks we’ll be in a position to roll it out in a small area”.
He explained that this will be a new technology and part of a wider strategy with several moving parts, [therefore] it makes sense to see how it might work locally before going nationally. He explained that the app to be “technically ready” for wider deployment by the end of month.However, national deployment depended on a wider strategy relating to testing, tracing and isolation at a national level. To guarantee the effectiveness of this app, government will require 18,000 people to take part in a manual process over the phone.
Gould admitted that Government’s target of reaching 80% of smartphone users, which would be roughly 60% of the UK population would be “tough but optimal”.
“It will require an enormous comms effort,” he said.
It is understood that the app will use a Bluetooth signal to keep an anonymous record of other smartphone users that come into close proximity. It is ultimately the user who will decide if his data will be shared on the system
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