Contact-tracing software is being trialled across three trusts in Scotland in a bid to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.

The technology will be tested in NHS Fife, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Highland from 18 May.

The pilot, expected to last two weeks, will allow the trusts to test the software, which will be used by contact tracers to collect the information they need digitally.

Tracers will then be able to contact those suspected of coming into contact with coronavirus.

Scottish health secretary, Jeane Freeman, said: “Technology will be an important tool to help us move towards the test, trace, isolate and support approach and safely exit lockdown.

“The software we are developing in Scotland is built on a tried and trusted platform and will allow us to carry out contact tracing on a much larger scale than has been necessary until now.

“It will also focus on supporting public health teams identify outbreaks and reduce transmission in high risk groups and settings by making it easier for staff to collect and record information.”

The software is the first step in Scotland’s move towards its extended test, trace, isolate and support approach, aimed at reducing transmission of the virus as the country moves out of lockdown.

“The test, trace, isolate and support approach is about breaking the chain of transmission of the virus but it remains vital that alongside this people continue to follow physical distancing advice and practice good hand and cough hygiene,” Freeman added.

The Scottish government has opted for a system that differs from the NHS contact-tracing app, which is currently being piloted in the Isle of Wight.

Speaking at its daily coronavirus press briefing on Sunday, Freeman said the software would allow contact-tracing on a “much larger scale”.

She added it builds on “tried and tested technology” and is designed to support staff to “collect and record information, and to trace more contacts more quickly”.

The software will be rolled out to all health boards by the end of May and further enhanced during June.