How the UK's Coronavirus Contact-Tracing App Works
Epidemiologists say 60 percent of a population must use the app for it to be effective.
LONDON — The United Kingdom is testing a COVID-19 contact-tracing app on the Isle of Wight, the British government announced on May 4.
According to a press release from the Department of Health and Social Care, the app, which was developed by NHSX, the digital technology unit of the National Health Service, will keep a record of whom the user comes into contact with.
It will upload this information to a government database to help the NHS study the virus and develop strategies to ease Britain's coronavirus lockdown.
If the user becomes ill, the app will send a notification to everyone they have been in contact with to self-isolate.
The Isle of Wight is a small island in the English Channel with a population of around 140,000 people and a single NHS trust that covers all of the island.
Announcing the move on May 5, health secretary Matt Hancock said the isle's size is ideal to conduct testing under "scientifically controlled conditions," ITV reports.
The NHS COVID-19 app will be rolled out for the rest of the nation by the end of the month.
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