NHS Contact Covid-19 Tracing App was developed by the UK to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus among people. NHS Contact Tracking App was launched by the UK at the end of September 2022.
COVID-19 was spreading at a fast speed. NHS Contact Tracing App saves more than 1 Million lives in the pandemic.
UK NHS Contact Tracing App is a great combination of technology and human intelligence that has been put to use to fight against the pandemic. The function of this app was mainly to send notifications to people. Now the question, statement, or sentence that comes to one’s mind is what kind of notification was it? How does this app help in preventing COVID?
This app works in a very simple, reliable, and easy way. First, people installed it on their smartphones and registered themselves. The app is sensor-based and it records how close a user interacts with another user and for how much time. If one of the users who contacted each other tests positive for COVID-19, the app automatically sends a notification to all other users that contacted the affected one. Thus, it sends a red signal to the people who contacted the COVID-affected person and allows them to isolate themselves as soon as possible. Thus, preventing their contact with other unaffected people and blocking the spread of diseases.
Researchers say that with the help of this app, hundreds of thousands of cases were prevented, thereby saving thousands of lives. “Each time a notification is sent to the contacts of a COVID-affected person, it prevents a new case on an average basis,” said the researcher (peerreviewed nhs 1.89m octoberdecember)
The research paper states that the app works in the most effective manner and “it sends about 1.7 million red signal notifications after its 560,000 users were tested positive for COVID-19.” It is also seen that with a 1% increase in app users, estimated cases are reduced by 0.8% to 2.3%.
The researcher uses two modern, scientifically proven and advanced approaches to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The first one is the “modeling” approach, in which assumptions are made about transmissions and how strictly people are following the rules regarding quarantine. The second approach was the “statical” approach, in which data from local authorities was collected on active cases.
Research finds that from the modeling approach, 284,000 cases were prevented and, by the statistical approach, 594,000 cases were prevented, which saves the lives of approximately 4000 to 8000 people. But, an albeit indirect and genuine effect of the app has also been observed. It was found that people maintain more social distance from each other than they usually have, as the app monitors their distance and afterward advises quarantine. Researchers suggested that maybe this signifies that their “ statistical approach is more accurate than their modeling approach.”
The research paper also mentioned the way in which the app was widely used. It states that the app was significantly used in areas that are more rural and counted among areas of lower poverty. It also showed that the transmission effect was significantly reduced by October when the app tech was working on a large scale. It was regarded as a “significant upgrade” by the researchers.
Before this upgrade, the app faced several issues, such as it not working on older smartphones and people were facing problems; contact tracing was inaccurate many times, and tracing was not working functionally. Afterward, the app was highly criticized by politicians. They said that it is useless and has no “clear impact.” They further said that it is only a waste of a million-billion budget.
The latest research suggests that it is just an app, which can contain many technical issues, and people should not blindly depend on it. Researchers also warned about having too much faith in the system and added that “ don’t look at it as a substitute for social distancing and face masking: to control the pandemic, they are of equal importance and an app is just an approach, not a solution.”