COVIDSafe app removed from App Store after $21 million spent on project

The COVIDSafe app has been closed.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison once scrapped applications he compared to COVID-19 ‘sunscreen’ and ‘tickets’ for Australians to reclaim their lifestyles from the bleak days of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns Did.
The decision will end the life of that application over concerns that the $21 million spent by Australian taxpayers to keep the application going is outweighed by its effectiveness as a method of contact tracing to help contain the spread of the pandemic. end the

According to government data, since the app launched in April 2020, only two positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed through the app, none detected by manual contact tracing systems.

The application also identified only 17 close contacts not identified by other tracking methods.
Health Minister Mark Butler has described the application as a “massive waste” of taxpayer money.
“It is clear that this app has failed as a public health measure and that is why we have acted to remove it,” he said in a brief eulogy.

“The former prime minister said the app would be a ‘sunscreen’ against COVID-19. All it did was use up taxpayer money. ”

Case counting method was not accurate enough

The application was developed by the former Morrison government as a tool to help state and territory health officials identify and contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Opposition health senator Ann Ruston said the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 threat should be considered when evaluating the overall effectiveness of the application as a public health response.

“While hindsight is great, the Labor Opposition at the time supported the development of the COVIDSafe app as an additional protection for Australian communities during the pandemic,” she said.

COVIDSafe death announced on App Store

The COVIDSafe app was modeled after a similar approach taken by the Singapore government and developed by the Ministry of Health and a government agency, the Digital Transformation Agency.
The application was designed to record the contacts that users have made with other users and link this information to a database to indicate potential close contacts with health authorities.
A total of 7.9 million people signed up for the COVIDSafe app between April 2020 and May 2020.
However, according to government data, less than 800 users agreed to send their data to the National COVIDSafe data store for contact tracing.

The application store where the software is downloaded has been updated to reflect its obsolete status, describing it as being “discontinued” on Wednesday.

The COVIDSafe app will appear in the application store. sauce: attached

Dr. Bridget Hare, senior researcher at the Kirby Institute, a medical research institute affiliated with the University of New South Wales, participated in a collaborative study on the efficacy of the app in New South Wales.

This means that between May and November 2020, out of approximately 25,300 close contacts, the app detected only 17 additional close contacts, not identified by traditional contact tracing methods. (less than 0.1% of all cases).
Haire said their research showed that the application had not proven to be effective enough to be used by contact tracers.
“The way we counted cases was not precise enough. So on the one hand we were counting too many people who weren’t really in such close proximity, so interactions could happen, and on the other hand, I was missing a case,” he told SBS News.
“The main takeaway from this is that technology like this needs to be tested in the wild.”
The application worked by recording interactions between users who stayed within 1.5 meters of a positive case for more than 15 minutes.

If a user tested positive for COVID-19, they were asked to consent to upload their interaction data for use by contact tracers.

But Dr. Hare said their research found that Android phones tended to register contacts between users, too far away for infection to occur, while iPhones were often unaware of interactions.
According to a Senate investigation report released in October, the government estimated monthly maintenance costs for the COVIDSafe app at $60,000 to $75,000.
Dr Suranga Seneviratne, from the University of Sydney School of Computer Science, said his research found that users shouldn’t have to worry about their privacy being compromised by using the app.
However, he added that there are legitimate doubts about its effectiveness.
“The fundamental problem we had was that Bluetooth wasn’t designed for this kind of stuff, by design,” he told SBS News.

“Definitely there are quite a few lessons to be learned from this incident and how we will use them in the future.”

COVIDSafe app removed from App Store after $21 million spent on project

Source link COVIDSafe app removed from App Store after $21 million spent on project

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