Waterford company launches Covid app in New York and New Jersey

NearForm also behind Covid tracker apps in Republic and North, Scotland and Gibraltar

NearForm’s apps use Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have recently been near someone who later tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Photograph: iStock

NearForm’s apps use Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have recently been near someone who later tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Photograph: iStock

 

Waterford-based NearForm has launched a Covid contact-tracing app in New York and New Jersey as the two US states grapple with rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. NearForm technology is already used in apps in Pennsylvania and Delaware, with the company also behind apps in the Republic and the North as well as those operating in Scotland and Gibraltar.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Phil Murphy both encouraged residents to download the Covid Alert app onto their smartphones. As in other locations, the app uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have recently been near someone who later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“Built with privacy at its core, the Covid Alert app puts power in people’s hands to fight against Covid-19,” said NearForm chief executive Cian Ó Maidín.

“In using open source peer-reviewed technology, interoperable with Pennsylvania and Delaware, the states of New York and New Jersey will allow citizens to engage, protect each other and break transmission chains. This privacy-preserving approach has already been successfully rolled out across borders in Ireland and parts of the UK,” he added.

– Additional reporting: Bloomberg