Space 95 – an IT services company in Seychelles – has launched “Contak”, a contact tracing application that will allow users to record the places they have visited. Public Health Authority contact tracers can take advantage of the app to better track people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Public Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon told a press conference that the Department of Health “welcomes this app and is working closely with the developers.”
HOW IT WORKS
At present, the app can only be downloaded from Google Play via Android phone. A version compatible with iOS devices will be released later. Personal information such as a person’s name, telephone number and national identification number must be provided during the registration process.
Users of the app will need to scan a QR code when entering a location. Alternatively, a door attendant will scan the QR code generated by the user’s app or the QR code of other people the user has frequent contact with. Once the QR code is scanned, the information will be stored securely and encrypted on the smartphone. Only the user will be able to access this information.
Those who do not have a smartphone can ask another person to register their personal data on the app and print a personal QR code for them. Likewise, a person can obtain a QR code identity card provided by the PHA.
People who test positive for COVID-19 can share their status through the app to notify health authorities, and others who were in the same location, that they will receive an alert. This allows groups of people to be alerted much faster if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Currently, Seychellois citizens will have to call the Ministry of Health to alert authorities that they are a potential contact. Contact tracers will then assess the situation to determine if they were a close contact before letting them know what the next steps are. The app may complement the Seychelles government’s contact tracing efforts.
Andy Noel, director of operations at Space 95 mentioned that some of the problems with traditional contact tracing include people unable to accurately remember all the places they have been or people providing false information in logbooks. visitors because there is a lack of privacy.
THE BIGGEST TREND
To help mitigate the spread of this virus, many countries have developed contact tracing and warning apps. These apps have helped health authorities quickly isolate people who have come in contact with those who have tested positive for the virus. Healthcare providers have increasingly developed ways to simplify the process of finding contacts using technology, such as the Methodist Hospital of Southern California using an automated contact tracing system.
ON THE RECORD
“If you are COVID-19 positive, just go to the app and upload the log to the health agency using Wi-Fi or Internet data. This information is uploaded to a server in the Department of Information and Technology. And Communication, allowing the appropriate authority to access the information. Someone who has scanned the same poster at the same time as you will receive an alert, letting them know that they are ‘this is potential contacts,’ Noel said.