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Canada launches beta test of COVID-19 app | Usefulness, adoption rate are still questions

Canada launches beta test of COVID-19 app | Usefulness, adoption rate are still questions

With the quiet launch of the beta test of the federally approved COVID-19 exposure notification app for beta testing, developers hope it will answer specific questions of any early release software: will it break, and will it scale? Will happen?

UPDATE, August 8 – Beta testing was quickly subscribed with over 5,000 requests and is no longer taking applications. The trial runs until Sunday 26 July. "Our extensive review process and usability testing ensure that we take the time necessary to address any issues before launching this important tool, to help Canadians reduce the spread of COVID-19," A federal spokesman said.

But Ottawa and the province also want to know two other things: will this manual be useful for health officials performing contact tracing, and will a large number of people use it?

A global survey of U.S.-based legal policy review blogs, called Laughs, suggests that by now, some contact tracing and exposure notification apps have been widely adopted, and little to no use. There is evidence.

For example, Australia was one of the countries that developed an app, Laughit notes, but failed to detect a single coronovirus after a month that manual trackers had not previously found.

Whatever models use these apps (centralized or decentralized) they have one thing in common: they try to use GPS or Bluetooth to collect anonymous ID codes from mobile devices that are nearby for a specified length of time Occurs, often 15 minutes. The idea is that if the user tests positive for the virus, the code can be used to contact those people and they are advised to see a doctor for testing. In short, applications are a supplement to keep people from remembering who they were until recently and which viruses they can spread.

However, the Laughfish article provides evidence that the ability of some apps to consistently and correctly collect these ID codes is an essential capability. Reception can vary depending on whether the smartphone is sitting on the table or in a person's pocket. Canada's beta testing will be important to complete this feature.

"Concerns about privacy persist" worldwide, the authors add, and "technical deficiencies in apps deserve the lion's share of the blame." These drawbacks will appear in apps that do not run well on Apple devices until now, with the complaint that they always have to run in the foreground and consume too much battery.

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