The Royal Air Force is testing an NHS smartphone app that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the RAF website, personnel at RAF Leeming are trialling the software, led by the station’s digital unit, RAF eXperimental (RAFX), who have been working closely with NHSX and partners.

“The app uses Bluetooth software to determine a user’s proximity to other devices. If a person shows symptoms or tests positive for the virus, they can choose to share this information with the NHS via the app. An alert will then be sent to other devices they have been near, whose users can then be tested or self-isolate.

More than 300 personnel and their families at RAF Leeming carry the app on their phones as ‘beta testers’. The NHS chose RAF Leeming to host the trial because RAFX has a record of testing apps and is at the forefront of driving new processes across the force.”

It is understood that RAFX set up a scenario which simulated people’s experience of shopping. To adhere to social-distancing rules, phones were placed on tables to simulate people clustering in a shopping area.

Others walked past as if looking in shop windows. In doing so the Bluetooth software registers one phone’s proximity to another.

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Mark B
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Mark B

300 is too small but I’m not sure that in the time available we have the luxury of larger scale testing. If it passes the test it will need to be put live and tweaked in the live environment. Fairly easy with Apps.

Nick SP
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Nick SP

Good Day! Maybe I am off topic? However I do believe it is important to raise the issue. When the British Government has been so poor at storing PPE equipment for NHS and other services in previous years, one does ask the question how is there record in preparing and storing equipment, munitions etc in advance for our Defence forces? Furthermore as regards the upcoming Defence review perhaps to counter Russia ( New Cold War) we should increase like Germany our Defence spending by at least 10% I think at the moment we are behind France and Germany amongst others!… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

Australia has publicly released a similar Bluetooth based tracking app.

More than 2 million Australians have signed up for this app so far since its release three days ago.

COVID 19 infections seem to have peaked with just under 7,000 cases reported and 88 deaths nationally.

Lockdown restrictions are now being eased in most Australian states.

Watching the terrible toll in the UK is heart breaking. Stay safe everyone.

Doug Scott
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Doug Scott

Singapore has had this in place now for quite a few weeks (since March 20) – called “Trace Together”. Aussies modelled theirs on the SG Govt model.

nathan
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nathan

Yet another step towards absolute technocratic control over our lives. Those who think the only thing standing in the way of their utopian vision is pesky human free will, will dream up, or co-opt ever more ways to tracks, nudge, cajole, direct or regulate our choices. Think of China where freedom is curtailed according to your citizenship score. “But I have nothing to hide”…..(well that’s good because that’s nearly impossible nowadays). The surface intention of this may be benign, but the cultural direction and precedent it nudges us towards is the full-scale surrender of our freedoms in exchange for [insert… Read more »