An app that can help with COVID-19 contact tracing has been developed in Co Clare in recent days to help people identify potential coronavirus contacts.
The ‘DelayIT‘ app is a community based initiative which went live in Ennistymon last night. The creators had just a small window, over the last few days, to address the follow-up and contact of potentially infected individuals and put together a minimum viable free solution for communities to use.
Described as a ‘softer version’ of a Chinese model, the app has been created by Mike Linnane, Ian Lambe and Tim Daiber of Ennistymon-based Evolve Technologies who have developing risk and compliance systems for 14 years.
It’s hoped, if the concept works locally and the public support it, the system can be handed over to the relevant health or local authorities here, free of charge, to assist in contact tracing during the current pandemic.
Co-creator Mike Linnane said: “We are attempting to give people an option to follow a softer version of the Chinese model of suppressing the curve. It has the option to be rolled out on a community basis until authorities here catch up.
The App records visitors and customers to businesses and various premises. The App simply records phone numbers timestamp and optionally GPS position and stores this information to the Azure cloud for storage. No other personal information is stored,” he said.
Ian Lambe said: “Should a case of Covid-19 be diagnosed in the area, a GP or member of the HSE can access the system by logging into the back-end and see where this person has been and who has been in the same space at the same time. Access to the back-end is restricted to authorised people only.”
The HSE or GP can then contact the phone numbers individually or by group SMS to inform them of a possible contact. Contacts can also be sorted by “most active shoppers” – red, orange, green – so the follow up can be done by order,” he said.
Tim Daiber added: “This is a community initiative and can work in three fundamental ways. Once a retailer has downloaded the application and registers, they simply use it by asking customers for their phone number on check out. Phone numbers are supplied on a assumed consent basis. People can of course decline to give their number and all information provided will be confidential and will be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.”
“The phone can also be operated in self-service style (with hand sanitizer and wipes provided) on the way into a shop. This could be more the case for busy shops.
Thirdly, in the community, people can check-in on way into shop, on the public app on their own phone. They can also log people whom they stop and talk to,” Tim Daiber said.
“It’s up and running for whoever wants to use it. We checked in the local town – and the shop keepers we asked, were mostly on board. The Public were also on board. Larger shops are very busy and possibly need the Self Service or Self Check in option,” Mike Linnane added.
The creators can potentially add mapping to the back end system – as they have already done this for something another project.
The app can be downloaded here and is expected to be available from online stores next week.