Covid-19 App next to NHS lanyard and facemask.

NHS Covid-19 App update removes unnecessary notifications

The Government has today announced that updates to the NHS Covid-19 app will make the app more accurate than it was at launch.

This is done by scientists from The Alan Turing Institute utilising the latest version of the Google/Apple API to improve the accuracy of distance that can be measured via Bluetooth.

By being able to better assess distances, the app can ensure that people are kept safe by only needing to isolate if they are a genuine contact of someone who has reported having Covid-19.

The update also removes unnecessary exposure notifications that were causing alarm to users who questioned whether they had to isolate or not, especially as the notification disappeared once the user clicked on it.

NHS Test and Trace Director of Product, Gaby Appleton, said:

“The team behind the app are continually working to improve its accuracy and user experience, to make it as simple as possible to keep users and their loved ones safe.

“We are thrilled that over 19 million people have chosen to download the app to help protect their loved ones while preserving their privacy, and that over 680,000 QR codes have been created by businesses to support digital contact tracing.

“This update builds on that success by increasing accuracy, and also removing ‘ghost’ exposure notifications, meaning users will only be notified if they need to self-isolate.

“The more people who use the app, the better it works, so I encourage all those who have not yet downloaded the app to do so.”

The increase in accuracy for the app is expected to increase the number of people having to self-isolate, however it is expected that they will be people who are at a significant risk of having been exposed to the virus, rather than low risk.

PSE Oct/Nov 20

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