LONDON – The UK could begin rolling out its coronavirus tracing app widely in less than a month. Matthew Gould, the head of the NHSX – the health service’s digital transformation unit, revealed the progress to British lawmakers on Tuesday (via Reuters).
Coronavirus App ‘Ready For a Wider Deployment in Two to Three Weeks’
A trial in a smaller area could begin “in the next couple of weeks,” Mr. Gould told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Furthermore, he said that “subject to it performing in the trials, and the smaller area in the way we expect, I would expect it technically to be ready for a wider deployment in two to three weeks.”
It emerged on Monday that the UK is moving away from a decentralized model for coronavirus apps. However, this is not the approach advocated by Apple and Google. Apple is understood to have been working with NHSX for a number of weeks and this is not expected to change. The decentralized approach is more power-efficient, while also better-protecting user privacy – a core Apple principle. An API which individual states can use to build contact tracing apps is expected in the next few days.