An app is now available for mobile phones to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
CovTracer was developed by RISE – Research Centre on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies in an initiative backed by the deputy ministry for innovation.
Deputy minister Kyriakos Kokkinos thanked RISE, a joint venture between the University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology and Open University of Cyprus, Nicosia Municipality, and international partners Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the University College London, for its initiative.
The CovTracer app has been developed with the aim of halting the Covid-19 pandemic in Cyprus by identifying as fast as possible people infected individuals had come into contact with.
This allows decontamination of locations the infected individual has visited, plus informing and/or communicating with perhaps infected individuals.
By checking the user’s location trails, one can identify other citizens who have been in close proximity to the diagnosed carrier and, if the exposed users take appropriate action, reduce the spread of the infectious disease.
The first version of the mobile app targets ONLY employees and workers who need to work outside and cannot stay at home, RISE said on its website.
This includes policemen, doctors and nurses, firemen, people working in important utilities (electricity, water, internet, etc.).
For the rest of Cyprus population, RISE strongly advised them to stay at home in order to stop the epidemic from spreading.
Logging of the location is voluntary and all the information is stored only on the phone. Users can, if they wish, share their location over the past two weeks with state epidemiologists.
For more information visit http://covid-19.rise.org.cy/# . The app is available on Android. The iOS, version has been fast tracked and will made available on the AppStore.
CovTracers is based on the technology Safepaths of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ΜΙΤ),which uses GPS.
Three more services are being developed in cooperation with doctors and epidemiologists that will be included in the next version.
Rise Centre was established through the support of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, the Cyprus Government, European Structural and Investment Funds, and multiple other sources.