UK Starts to Build Second Contact Tracing App

NHS team that built first app is told to build another on system being developed by Apple and Google.

The NHS has already begun building a second smartphone app to trace the spread of the coronavirus, after criticism of the first app it launched this week on the Isle of Wight.

The second NHS app will use technology provided by Google and Apple and is being developed “in parallel”, in case politicians decide to make a switch, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Matthew Gould, head of NHSX, the UK health service’s innovation arm, gave the go-ahead to the new project earlier this week.

The decision to build an alternative to the NHS’s original app, which gathers more data in a central database, came after pressure within the government over the technical and ethical issues of its initial approach.

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