The UK contact tracing app has received £2.5m in funding after an agreement was made with a specialist supplier to provide support and development work for the app during remainder of the year.
The app, which has been downloaded more than 30 million times and cost at least £100 million to develop, is currently run by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). However, with the UK government removing the legal requirement for people who tested positive to isolate and manual contact tracing operations closed, the long-term plans for the technology This is still not clear.
The support contract was established on February 14 with an end date of December 31, according to a government notification. UKHSA did not immediately comment on whether it plans to extend its contract next year.
The supplier for this new contract is Netcompany, an IT services organization headquartered in Denmark with offices globally including the UK (London and Leeds), Norway, Vietnam and Poland .
This is not the first time Netcompany has joined the UK contact tracing scheme. In November 2020, the UK government corporate gift a one-year contract for “Alpha, Beta and Live support services for NHS Testing and Monitoring”.
Meanwhile, the contract announcement for the new funding for the contact tracing app states that staff provided by the company will “collaborate with UKHSA’s internal teams to deliver a range of services.” mobile application development services and support systems with existing AWS infrastructure”.
Although the contact tracing app has been funded for another year, COVID-19 symptom tracking app capital has been withdrawn. The symptom-monitoring app was developed by King’s College London (KCL), along with Guys & St Thomas hospitals and London and Boston-based nutrition science startup ZOE, co-founded by the Professor KCL’s Heart Spector Genetic Epidemiology.
That app, which was launched on 24 March 2020, has been supported by a grant from the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care. However, when UKHSA was authorized to oversee contact tracing activities, UKHSA refused to renew funding for the project.
Posted on Twitter, Spector said: “I am very disappointed to share that the ZOE COVID Study has not been renewed in funding by the UKHSA. But we are continuing and looking forward to the next steps, considering the full spectrum of health as well as COVID.”
UK contact tracing
A working version of the app was finally launched in September of that same year. However, as the pandemic enters its second year, there are widespread report number of people deleting apps or turning off contact tracing after 700,000 people in England and Wales were asked to quarantine for a week.
Those caught up in the so-called “pandemic” include Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labor leader Keir Starmer.
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https://www.computerworld.com/article/3653610/uks-nhs-covid-contact-tracing-app-receives-funding-for-rest-of-year.html#tk.rss_all UK NHS COVID contact tracing app gets funding for the rest of the year