The head of NHSX has said the organisation “took a punt and started quickly” with the NHS Covid-19 app.
Speaking at FabChange20 on October 21 Matthew Gould was asked by host Roy Lilley about the app, which NHSX first confirmed it was working on back in March.
Gould said NHSX “took a punt and started quickly” and when it was revealed that Apple and Google were working on their own software started a “parallel set of work” using the tech giants code.
He admitted one thing NHSX may have missed was “not saying things publicly”, especially the fact the tech arm of the NHS was working on this parallel version.
Calling the app journey “bumpy and painful”, Gould also said NHS Test and Trace will continue to work on the app.
The NHS Covid-19 app was launched on 24 September and is based on APIs from Apple and Google, the app uses Bluetooth technology to track time and distance between smartphone devices.
It also offers a QR code check-in capability at bars, restaurants and other venues, designed to aid NHS Test and Trace in contacting customers with public health advice should there be a Covid-19 outbreak.
Once a QR code is scanned, information will remain on a user’s phone for 21 days, but users will have the option to delete venues from their app.
For a more in-depth look at the contact-tracing app, and what went wrong, take a look at our timeline of events here.