NHS Covid: many downloads, very few notifications

NHS Covid: many downloads, very few notifications
The English app for contact tracing, NHS Covid, seems to suffer from a big problem: an excessive "tolerance", such that even people actually at risk would not be considered as such and would therefore not receive any notification from the contact system Bluetooth-based digital tracing.

NHS Covid: London, we have a problem

While many have criticized Immuni (and other similar apps) for the risk of an excessive number of false positives, in the case of NHS Covid, exactly the opposite would have happened: even when the proximity between two people is high and persistent over time, the system does not consider this type of contact at risk and therefore does not consider it appropriate to send any notification. The positive effect is in the fact that the number of notifications sent is extremely low; the negative effect lies in the fact that at this point the app becomes almost useless. Logically, indeed, an adequate number of notifications is tolerable (the concept of "congruity" unfortunately today depends too heavily on the ability of the authorities to carry out tracing, which has been skipped in most of Europe), while a system that is self-defeating avoiding to consider the contacts at risk.

It is not clear what the number of notifications sent is, but according to what emerged it would be "surprisingly low". There would be no fraud in all this, but simply an error in the development of the system and in the calculation of risk situations: the confirmation would also have been collected by Sky News. The error would be even more pronounced on Android smartphones, thus affecting smartphones at a lower cost and by logical consequence also a part of populations with lower spending capacity.

The app is registering a high number of downloads now that the shadow of the lockdown has fallen again on the United Kingdom, therefore a resolution of the technical problem could lead to a more valid and effective contact tracing in the coming weeks . Now, however, the problem will be notoriously transferred to the opposite field: in the presence of many notifications, how to manage individual cases without clogging up the switchboards of the health authorities? Italy is trying with a call center, but it is now a problematic run-up that can only yield appreciable results if the advance of the contagion curve can be bent.

Source: Sky News

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