The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) has launched a new innovative smartphone app TraceCovid, which allows users to keep track of COVID-19 cases and curb its spread between members of the society.
The application will identify people who have been in close contact with those infected with the virus, with the aim to enable the official authorities to immediately reach out to possibly infected individuals and provide them with the necessary healthcare treatments, potentially minimising the spread of the virus.
The app functions on Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and allows users to detect and identify another device with the same installed app. When in close proximity of each other, both devices will exchange an encrypted Secure Tracing Identifier (STI) and store the exchanged STI locally on both devices. If one of the users is infected with the virus, the relevant authorities will be able to access the user’s data and timestamp, while ensuring complete privacy of personal information.
Commenting on the launch of the application, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of DoH said: "The safety and well-being of the society will always remain our utmost priority at DoH. In light of the current uncertain situation, we are keen to bolster our advanced technologies to maintain the health of members of the society rapidly and effectively. Through the new application, we will implement a proven tracking system to control the spread of infectious diseases worldwide."
"Our responsibility today is to stand together and continue working as one team to fight against the spread of COVID-19. We encourage you all to download the application and contribute to maintaining the health and safety of the society and protecting yourselves, your families and all those around you", Al Hamed continued.
DoH also explained that all members of the society in the emirate can download the application in two simple steps provided that they have an IOS or Android device. The first step is to download the TraceCovid application and install it on their devices; the second step is to enable the Bluetooth feature and allow it to remain active at all times for the application to read and determine the user’s exact location. We recommended users to activate the energy saving mode in the phone, given that the application consumes very low rates of energy.
The application does not affect the use and efficiency of Bluetooth accessories including the earpiece, speakers, Bluetooth headset and others; the application runs in the background in order to be able to communicate with other users' devices that support the application.
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