New app can communicate to others about your COVID-19 status after self test

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Would you like to feel more confident that others you are meeting are free of COVID-19?

There’s a new smartphone app that may help you know if the person you are seeing is free of the virus. It’s called Covid-Precheck.

“Its based on a simple, self-screening test on symptoms and exposure,” said Dr Nitin Desai, the co-founder Safepassport, the company that developed the app. 

Inspired by the TSA’s precheck screening program, the COVID Precheck app generates a QR code on a smartphone to show proof you are not infected based on the self-assessment test taken daily.

Desai says the test is based on the honor system since the app has no way to determine if someone taking the test is lying.  

The app will also let your doctor provide a digital note indicating you are COVID-19 free or you can include the results of an a physical coronavirus test you’ve taken. 

If others have also used the same app, follow users can share that info via something called a virtual handshake. 

Here’s how it works. 

“If you have a backyard barbecue and have seven people over and they all have taken the some the self assessment, you can see each other’s status that they have screened themselves before coming to the barbecue,” said Desai. 

But, in these days of hacking and data breaches, some worry about that information sitting around somewhere on the internet for bad guys to access. 

Desai said the data is safe.

“Our backup server is a HIPPA compliant, highly secure storage facility.” 

For the time being, the app is free as the creators try to get it into widespread use — because it works more effectively in groups if many people are on the system. 

The app is also not meant to replace things like mask wearing, and social distancing and environmental measures such as disinfecting areas.

The app’s creators say it’s just an additional tool in the fight against the spread of the virus. 

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