• Proteams Information Tech

COVID-19 Apps Worldwide

Amid the global panic and government fight against the coronavirus pandemic, many countries worldwide have created and deployed apps and started to develop innvoative technologies that aim to perform contact tracing, information availability, isolation enforcement, regional risk assessment, and many more features. While some have been more successful than others, it is undeniable that governments worldwide have seen the potential that apps hold for global issues such as the one we currently face.

Below you'll find information on some of the most notable coronavirus apps worldwide and their basic technology attributes, as well as information on privacy concerns if they have been reported.

Australia's COVIDSafe is a digital contact tracing app announced by the Australian Government in April this year to help combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The app is based on the BlueTrace protocol developed by the Singaporean Government, which was also released in April.

Austria's Stopp Corona is the Austrian red cross's contact tracing app published on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Bahrain's BeAware Bahrain is the official mobile app for Android and iOS, developed by The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), in collaboration with the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Bangladesh Government announced & launched a mobile app named Corona Tracer BD in May 2020 in Google Play Store.

Brazil's "Tô de Olho", is a multipurpose app that includes contact tracing, agglomeration denunciation, and selective infectious testing, was released in Rio Grande do Norte in April.

Canada's COVID Alert is a federal COVID Alert exposure notification app that is not a contact tracing app and does not have access to information such as user names, health information, addresses, smartphone contacts, or GPS location.The app uses Bluetooth technology to check and share a random list of codes from any nearby smartphones held by people who have tested positive.

The Chinese government, in conjunction with Alipay and WeChat, deployed an app that allows citizens to check if they have been in contact with people that have COVID-19, in use across more than 200 Chinese cities. The apps present three colors of codes representing the risk they pose. For example, green is good and can go about normal activities. On the other hand, yellow indicates the user they have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus and should exercise precaution. Lastly, red indicates to the user they have the virus and should remain quarantined to not expose others. These tests and color codes are constantly updated and shared with local police.

Colombia's CoronApp is the mobile app for Android and iOS –and available for the Huawei AppGallery– developed by the Colombian government. The app, downloaded by more than 1.2 million users, is a free application, which does not consume data; it helps detect affected areas and nearby people with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19.

The Czech Republic's government launched a Singapore-inspired tracing app called eRouška (eFacemask). The app was developed by the local IT community, released as open-source software, and will be handed over to the government.

Denmark's Smittestop is a digital contact tracing app available on the Google Play Store and Apple store. It was developed by the Ministry of Health and the Elderly, the Danish Agency for Patient Safety, the National Board of Health, the Danish Serum Institute, the National Board of Digitization, and Netcompany. It was released in June to help combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The app uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have been within one meter for more than fifteen minutes of a person who tested positive.

The French National Assembly approved the release of StopCovid in May, it is a digital contact tracing app based on a Bluetooth tracing protocol developed especially for the app. The application has been renamed 'tousanticovid' with an updated HTML page related to covid information such as where to go for tests, requirements for travel abroad, etc.

Germany's "Corona-Warn-App" was released in June and was developed as open-source software jointly by Deutsche Telekom and SAP with scientific advice from the federal Robert Koch Institute and uses the Exposure Notification APIs from Google and Apple.

Ghana's "GH Covid-19 Tracker App",government-launched Android and IOS app equipped with location-tracking technology to provide detailed information about people who have been at the same event, location, country, or other defined locations in order to provide accurate information to health authorities overtime to know who to screen and provide needed assistance.

Hungary's VírusRadar is an Android app launched in early May, it uses Bluetooth technology to track unique, random application IDs within a proximity of 2 meters for more than 20 minutes in the previous 14 days. The system has been developed by Nextsense, based on the company's contact tracing technology, but the app is now operated under the umbrella of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary, operated by the Governmental Agency for IT Development.

Iceland's Rakning C-19 route tracking is a GPS logger app for Android and iOS, with added content from the national COVID-19 web page Upplýsingar um Covid-19 á Íslandi. When an infection is confirmed, the route data is used to support more traditional contact tracing. According to MIT Technology Review as of May, it had the largest national market penetration rate of contact trackers in the world, having been downloaded by 38% of Icelanders and seen as one of the most effective coronavirus apps.

India's Aarogya Setu app was developed by the National Informatics Centre that comes under the wing of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.

Ireland's official COVID Tracker app was launched by the Irish government in July, it had a high success rate amongst residents; within two days of launch, the app had been downloaded by over one million people.

Israel's Ministry of Health launched "HaMagen" (המגן‎, or "the shield"), that tracks users' whereabouts using standard location APIs and then compares them to known movements of those diagnosed with COVID-19. It was specifically designed with a privacy-first approach where information about locations and times is cross-referenced on the user's device, and not transmitted to the cloud database.

Italy's Ministry of Health launched the Italian Government’s exposure notification solution, "Immuni" an app that was also built on top of the Google/Apple API, it only utilizes public infrastructures located within the national borders. . The solution was realized by the Special Commissioner for the COVID-19 emergency in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitalization.

Jordan's AMAN App is a privacy-conscious exposure detection App and was developed for Jordan's Ministry of Health by the COVID-19 JOTECH COMMUNITY, a group of tech-savvy volunteers who aimed to leverage Jordan’s tech talent in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Latvia'sApturi Covid has launched through a varied group of IT companies and volunteers using decentralized proximity tracing. Latvia's president and government ministers installed the application on their phones on the launch day.

Malaysia's MyTrace was launched via the Malaysian government in May and is one of three tracing apps released alongside Gerak Malaysia and MySejahtera. Gerak Malaysia is a tracking app that allows police and the Ministry of Health to track and analyze users' movement, as well as register for permission to cross the state border.

Nepal's Engineers Association Launched their "COVIRA" app, developed on a multidisciplinary framework where several factors are considered to provide the risk level determination, it can be used for individual risk assessment which can be assessed from all over the world, and regional risk is provided for Nepal in Palika level.

New Zealand's Health Ministry launched the NZ COVID Tracer allows users to scan their own QR codes at businesses, public buildings, and other organizations to track where they have been for contract tracing purposes.

North Macedonia's government launched "StopKorona!" which is a Bluetooth-based app that traces exposure with potentially infected persons. It is designed to help healthcare authorities provide a fast response, although, in compliance with laws on data protection, the app does not use the users' locations nor personal information. The users' mobile phone numbers are the only user-related data, stored on servers managed by the Ministry of Health.

Norway's Smittestopp app was developed by the Norwegian government and uses Bluetooth and GPS signals, it is one of the most controversial apps worldwide as its use was halted by the government over privacy concerns after the Norwegian Data Protection Authority said low infections could no longer justify the risk of "privacy invasion" by the end-user. The app ceased collecting new data and the government announced plans to delete all data collected so far with any additional collections effectively paused indefinitely.

Qatar's Ehteraz application allowed Qatar citizens and residents to move with ease and responsibly in the country while helping the authorities prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). The government later made it a legal requirement for all citizens and residents to mandatorily install and activate the mobile app on their smartphones when leaving the house for any reason.

Saudi Arabia's Tabaud app was developed by the National Health Information Center (NHIC), and allows users to track and trace via Apple/Google Exposure Notification API.

SingaporeSingapore's TraceTogether is being used by its residents and as a benchmark for other tracing app designs worldwide, it uses a digital contact tracing protocol called BlueTrace, developed with an open-source reference implementation called OpenTrace.

Spain's official app "Radar COVID" was released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, based on the DP-3T protocol and uses the Apple/Google API for contact tracing. One of the later releases it was expected to be rolled out to the wider Spanish regions in September. An additional app called was developed by a group of volunteers called OpenCoronavirus which uses an uncentralized contact tracing protocol called MFP-3T, based on DP-3T protocol but improved to avoid a few security issues.

Switzerland's SwissCovid app also uses the DP-3T protocol and is build on top of Apple/Google Bluetooth API.

United Kingdom's NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales uses Google/Apple exposure notification technology. (The NHS previously tried a centralized system rather than a decentralized approach). To aid contract tracing, the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales allows users to scan official NHS QR code posters at businesses, venues, and transport hubs, to ensure data security the QR code is constructed from a JSON secure Web Signature.

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