• They are the first autonomous communities that integrate their systems with said app and later they will gradually incorporate the rest
  • This technological development makes it possible to detect close contacts and notify anonymously if any of them are diagnosed with COVID-19, thus helping to detect chains of infections

The RadarCOVID app is already active in the testing phase in four autonomous communities. Once the technical integration process between the application and its health systems has been completed, Andalusia, Cantabria, Aragón and Extremadura are the first regions to have the development fully operational.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System approved an agreement so that the CCAA that are finishing this adaptation process can begin to operate in tests. It is a temporary agreement that enables the implementation of development to be accelerated, and which must be ratified through bilateral agreements between the health administrations of each autonomy and the Ministry of Health.

This is the first step in the national implementation plan of the application. To date, the application already has about two million downloads in its versions for the Android and iOS operating systems.

At this time, the rest of the autonomous communities have expressed their interest in adopting the tool and are carrying out the necessary technical work to integrate the application with their health systems to be able to launch it over the next few weeks.

The development of the RadarCOVID contact alert application, carried out by the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, was approved by the Council of Ministers on June 23. Six days later, a pilot was launched on the Canary island of La Gomera to test the effectiveness of the tool in detecting contagions in close contacts in the face of a fictitious regrowth situation with figurative positives.

How the application works

The RadarCOVID app has been developed following the most guaranteed technical standards with the privacy of users in compliance with all the recommendations made by the European Commission. Thus, no user can be identified or located because there is no data registered and because the whole process takes place on their phone without going to any server. In addition, both the use of the app and the communication of a possible contagion will always be voluntary.

The application uses the terminal's Bluetooth connection, through which mobile phones emit and observe anonymous identifiers of other phones that change periodically. When two terminals have been close for 15 minutes or more, two meters or less apart, both keep the anonymous identifier issued by the other.

If any user were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 after undergoing a PCR test, they would decide whether to give their consent so that, through the health system, an anonymous notification can be sent. In this way, the mobiles that had been in contact with the patient would receive a warning about the risk of possible contagion and instructions would be provided on how to proceed. By not requesting data of any kind, it is impossible to identify or locate any user in any way.

Currently, the European Commission is developing the legal and technical framework that enables interoperability between applications based on the decentralized model, such as RadarCOVID, so that they can continue to function beyond the borders of each State. The Spanish Government has defended from the beginning an interoperable model to expand the scope of this type of tool.

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