Innovative STOP COVID App Aimed at Early Detection and Prevention of COVID-19Created at the Ministry
STOP COVID appprovides opportunity to prevent the spread of the virus by means of timely notification of the contacts. The app enables users to know if they have been in contact with persons diagnosed with COVID-19. At the initiative of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, the innovative application is available for iOS and Android users. In order to download the app, iOS users should indicate STOP COVID in App Store, Android users can download the application from Google Play under the name of NOVID20. Additionally, the download links are available at the Ministry’s website: www.moh.gov.ge and at the website specially created by the Government: https://stopcov.ge/
After downloading and installation, the registration is not required. Correspondingly, the user does not have to provide personal information. The app assigns each user with a unique ID, which determines social contacts. All data are stored locally, on the mobile phone using strong encryption. The users have full control over their data. They decide themselves, when and what information they want to release.The system pays special attention to compliance with European legislation on data protection. In order to determine which smartphones have been in close proximity with each other Bluetooth, GPS and other technologies are used. The information on interaction between users – date of the contact, cases involving specific durations (more than 15 minutes) and distances (less than two meters) are stored in an encrypted form, locally by both apps. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, people who may have had contact with the infected person within the last few days will receive a warning with instructions to remain self-isolated and immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
The app was developed by the Austrian company which made it available to the governments of various countries free of any licensing fees. The app was fully adapted and brought to full compliance with the reality and legislation of Georgia.
A similar model of the app has already been successfully introduced and utilized by numerous countries including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and others.