Pennsylvania has decided to launch a new virus tracing app, indicating the coronavirus exposure in September, and another wonderful effort to break the chains of transmission. On Monday, the officials said that this technology can let you know if you are exposed to the virus.
Along with the federal grant dollars, the state had a contract of $1.9 million for the development and maintenance of the app with the help of developers, which is an Ireland-based company, NearForm Ltd, and their app has been downloaded by at least one fourth of the company.
The technology used for developing the app is based on Google and Apple, is ready to undergo a pilot project by next week, with the help of staff and faculty, public health students, as well as the state government employees, according to the statement delivered by the officials to The Associated Press.
April Hutcheson, the Health Department spokesperson said that, “The app is about Pennsylvanians helping Pennsylvanians, it’s about as a community being able to let each other know and track each other’s exposure so we can keep each other safe.”
The use of app is limited to 18 people and more. The app is similar to the one launched by Virginia earlier this month, which became the first state in the U.S. to use a technology created for the pandemic by Google and Apple.
According to Google, a number of other states along with Wyoming and North Dakota have either already launched or they are interested in launching this Google-Apple technology. The NearForm app will be launched by Delaware next month, according to Jill Fredel, a spokesperson for the state’s Health and Social Services Department.
The app will automatically notify people if they are exposed to coronavirus, and according to the officials the app will not store the location information as well, but the identity as well as the personal information of the person in close range will be exposed.
The technology is based on Bluetooth wireless technology that will determine if someone who has downloaded the app had spent time near other app who later on tests positive for COVID.
According to Meghna Patel, the deputy secretary for health innovation at the Department of Health, the app is based on the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control of being within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes, as a threshold.