UK to use Google-Apple test and trace, as it dumps homegrown system

Apple and Google are facing scrutiny from the CMA.

The UK will switch to Apple and Google technology for its Covid-19 test-and-trace app, its homegrown system was not working well enough on Apple’s iPhone.

THE test-and-trace programme is reportedly key to reopening the country but has been dogged by problems. The app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) was initially expected to be rolled out nationwide in May but did not materialise.
Dido Harding, head of the test-and-trace programme, and Matthew Gould, chief executive of the health service’s technology unit NHSX said “We have agreed to share our own innovative work … with Google and Apple, while using their solution to address some of the specific technical challenges identified through our rigorous testing.”
The original system was used and positive tests numbered over 85,000 people but of those over 25 per cent couldn’t be contacted.

“Having a quarter of those who test positive not contacted is a serious hole that urgently needs to be addressed,” stated opposition Labour Party health policy chief Justin Madders.
The spin from officials was that they admitted that the change of tack on the app was unplanned but denied that it was a setback.
But Apple and Google’s model has frustrated the government as they are putting the privacy of customers over the technologies usefulness.
The U-turn happened after the NHS app, which was being tested on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England, was found to work well on Google’s Android operating systems but not on Apple iPhones.
However, Britain wants further improvements to the Google-Apple platform, meaning that the original hope of a launch last May is set to be missed by months rather than weeks.


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Written by

Mark T Connor

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