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.