The Australian government has launched COVIDSafe, an app designed to help find close contacts of COVID-19 cases and contain the spread. Being able to find and contain outbreaks quickly will mean governments can ease restrictions while still keeping Australians safe.
Smartphone users can download the app for iPhones and Android and register their information. Downloading the app has been strongly recommended by both the state and Federal governments as it is an effective tool to better help manage COVID‑ 19.
What exactly is the technology, how does it work?
The app has the ability to trace connections made via bluetooth to other phones it has come into contact with.
Once the app has been downloaded the user will be notified (manually) if they have contact with another user who tests positive for coronavirus.
The app has two stages of consent that users will have to agree to; firstly, when it is downloaded so the data can be collected, and secondly to release that data on their phone if they are diagnosed with the virus.
Health professionals are encouraged to ask patients who have tested positive to upload their information. If a person with the app has tested positive to COVID-19, and has consented to sharing the information, it will be sent to a secure government server based in Australia.
From here, state and territory health providers are able to access it and start contacting other people who might have contracted COVID-19.
The app helps provide quicker contact tracing, which is essential for containing the spread of the virus.
For more information on the app and to download it, please visit the Government Health website.