WHO readies coronavirus app for checking symptoms, possibly contact tracing - (London South East via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Bernardo Mariano, chief information officer for the World Health Organization, said the WHO plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have COVID-19, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, as reported London South East on Friday.

  • The app will ask people about their symptoms and offer guidance on whether they may have COVID-19, while other information, such as how to get tested, will be personalised according to the user's country.

  • "The value is really for countries that do not have anything," Mariano said, adding that "we would be leaving behind the ones that are not able to (provide an app), that have fragile health systems."

  • Mariano said he wants to include additional tools such as a self-help guide for mental healthcare.

  • While phones keep anonymised logs of encounters, allowing someone who later tests positive to anonymously send notifications to recent contacts about their possible COVID-19 exposure, Mariano said legal and privacy considerations have prevented the WHO from committing to such a feature.

  • Meanwhile, Apple and Google have said their platform will not use any data for other purposes and will be stopped when the pandemic ends.

Did you like this article?