The application was developed by the Austrian NGO NOVID20 in cooperation with the highly innovative Austrian software company Dolphin Technologies, and is now to be made available pro bono and license-free to all governments worldwide by Rocket Media Communications. The NOVID20 app works with state-of-the-art technology, including Bluetooth, for highest accuracy, in contrast to tracking based on telecommunication data. In compliance with the strictest data protection guidelines and on a completely anonymous basis, millions of infections can be averted.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended more stringent measures against the pandemic: “To win we need to attack the virus with aggressive and target tactics testing every suspected case isolating and caring for every confirmed case and tracing and quarantining every close contact.” – World Health Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The key strategy in defeating the outbreak of this profound global impact has been to isolate every known infected person and commit people to stay at home. But exceptions for shopping for food and medical supplies, as well as getting medical treatments, are necessary. Also, for many people working from home is not an option, and many asymptomatic people may be spreading the virus without realizing it.
Until recently, governments had to rely on the memory of infected persons to identify people at risk of infection. To be able to inform possibly infected contacts immediately, it is crucial to know the movements of those diagnosed with COVID-19 during the critical periods of incubation.
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The NOVID20 app enables users to know if they have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Bluetooth, GPS, and other technologies are being used to determine which smartphones have been in close proximity to each other, which the system recognizes as a “contact.” When two devices meet, they store each other’s ID and the date, time, and location of that interaction. If a user tests positive, the system warns all their “contacts” that they are at risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Governmental guidelines are then provided, according to each country.
The system pays particular attention to privacy and data protection in accordance with European law. The NOVID20 app creates anonymous IDs for every user and stores all data locally on the phone using strong encryption. The users have full control over their data – deciding if, when, and which information they want to release. Furthermore, users can voluntarily donate their data to support scientific analysis and improve governmental decision-making.
This turn-key solution was developed for governments who are granted a free license; only adaptation and operation costs are being charged. Harald Trautsch, CEO of Dolphin Technologies, who leads product development for the NOVID20 App: “We have designed a lean solution that can be provided stand alone, but also be implemented in existing apps. This allows us to reach a broader audience faster and increase coverage. We are able to implement the App within few days in every country on request of their government”.
The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health & Social Affairs of Georgia took advantage of the innovation at an early stage of infections. The intention was to provide reliable information and prevent the disease from spreading uncontrollably. In case of a confirmed infection, the app automatically sends instructions for quarantine and information to contact local government authorities. NOVID20 app in Georgia is available for iOS & Android under the name “STOP COVID”.
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“The App is very precise and easy to use”, says Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze. “It will help us to react much faster in Georgia. We want to make sure that we can provide the sick with the best health care available and therefore have to combat this disease with all efforts. We won’t wait until we reach the capacity of our health system.” Georgia follows Japan and South Korea which have become successful role models for prevention in the corona crisis, especially with the help of technology.
In the past, large regions in Georgia and other countries were shut down based solely on personal statements of COVID-19 patients. The NOVID20 App provides all necessary data and identifies critical contacts to prevent people from spreading the virus. It also enables more precise quarantine regulations.
Main facts of the NOVID20 Application against COVID-19:
- IT turn-key solution in fighting the spread of corona virus.
- Anonymous and encrypted tracking and tracing to inform people at risk of spreading the virus unknowingly, thus breaking down the infection chain.
- Communication tool for exchanging information between governments and residents.
- Enables more precise quarantine regulations.
- Highly effective to shorten the crisis and flatten the curve.
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