NHS Coronavirus Tracking App is Being Tested at an RAF Base

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The NHS app that nobody wants and isn’t bringing anything substantial to the table is currently being trialled at RAF Leeming in the run up to its mid-May launch.

Following the news that some form of social distancing measures could be needed until next year – or until a vaccine or effective treatment is discovered – the NHS has released an update on its incredibly invasive app that has already received criticism from medical professionals, and had its first bout of testing last week. Now the alpha version is being tested at RAF Leeming, which has historically been used to test a number of other apps and the like, rolled out by the military.

Matt Hancock seems keen to push for adoption of the app, which if presented alongside the prospect of relaxed social distancing measures, will persuade a number of people to get on board, I’m sure. Hancock said:

“The more people who sign up for this new app when it goes live, the better informed our response will be and the better we can therefore protect the NHS.”

Flogging that dead old horse are we? The rallying cry has replaced ‘won’t someone think of the children?” This is the same Matt Hancock who, just a couple of weeks ago, said that “now is not the time to discuss a pay rise for nurses.” Right. Now, as they’re on the ‘frontlines’ getting paid shitty wages to risk their own health and of those around them, is not the time to entertain that conversation. Prior to the pandemic didn’t seem opportune either, I suppose.

Professor Allyson Pollock, director of Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science, said:

“We don’t need fancy expensive apps where people are going to be exposed to issues of data privacy. We should be following… a low-tech model, using people and telephone [interviews].

“Clinical observation, we found in China and Singapore and Korea, is actually more efficient and gives many more positives.”

Next up is a beta test that sounds like it’ll be in a more real-world scenario. There’s no word on whether the app will be mandatory, but I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the direction this was going in, with anyone who fails to adopt being accused of not supporting the NHS. But we’ll have to wait and see. [BBC News]

Feature image credit: Unsplash

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