Tag Archives: app

Minister for Health Simon Harris in the Dáil this evening

This evening.

In the Dáil.

Health Minister Simon Harris responded to points made by Green Party TD Ossian Smyth.

During his contribution, Mr Smyth asked Mr Harris if he would support Google and Apple “in their announcement that they want to co-operate to produce an app that can help with contact tracing on the basis that it respects privacy”.

Mr Smyth also told Mr Harris that he wanted to see Ireland become prepared “for the next microbial pandemic after Covid” and asked the minister to create a “pandemic preparedness unit” or a “pandemic readiness unit” within the Department of Health.

In relation to the point about an app, Mr Harris said:

On the issue of the app, I’m very supportive of the app. I think we really need an app. The HSE is at a very advanced stage, and my department, of launching one.

“I know we’ve been discussing with mobile phone operators…I know other companies are also thinking of it. It would involve people opting in. I think the Irish people would opt in though.

I think they’d opt in in overwhelming numbers once they knew, you know, that the parameters in terms of their own data protection and the fact it could save their lives and the lives of their family…”

In relation to the point about a pandemic unit, Mr Harris said:

“In relation to preparing for future public health pandemics, I mean you’re right. Public health has been the poor relation of health in this country for a long time, for a really, really long time.

“The Department of Health has often been the department of illness, what do we do when somebody gets sick? Not only do we realise the real value of public health at a time like this, whether we go the road of establishing, like they have in the UK, Public Health England, as a separate stand-alone organisation? Or whether you look, as you suggested, a unit or something as part of the HSE?

My one personal view is that it should be integrated as part of the health service, rather than setting up other bodies. But I’m open to discussions in this House.

“And sure maybe whoever forms the next Government can help us in that challenge.”

Earlier: Question Time [Updated]

Previously: The CovidTracker App And You

New Brand

From top Daragh O’Brien of technology and data governance firm Castlebridge; Covid-19 tracing app in Singapore


Susan Mitchell and Aaron Rogan, in The Business Post, reported that members of the public will be asked to “opt into” a mobile phone tracking and tracing app by the HSE as part of its strategy against Covid-19.

The HSE has already been in contact with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner about the app.

They reported:

The track and trace technology that the HSE plans to introduce will be facilitated by an opt-in mobile phone app that will allow people to be notified if they were in close proximity to confirmed cases.

Similar apps have been used in Singapore and South Korea, which have been held up as exemplars of how to successfully battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The apps help with contact tracing, which is the process of identifying those who have had close contact with infected individuals. Without technology, these efforts rely on the recall and memory of infected individuals.

Under plans being advanced by the HSE, phones with the app installed would exchange short-distance Bluetooth signals where users are near each other. Records of those encounters are then stored.

A senior health service source said the app would be free to use, and would operate on an “opt-in” basis. If a user is found to have the coronavirus, the app would allow the health service to notify other users of the app who have been in close contact with that individual by telephone.

…Castlebridge, a technology and data governance firm, has conducted research into the Singapore app in recent weeks.

Daragh O’Brien, managing director of the firm, said that there was merit to that model for Ireland which, he said did not record location data but instead used “Bluetooth signal strength to infer the distance between the two devices and how long the two devices are in close proximity to each other”.



Phone tracking app set to be used as next step to fight Covid-19 (Business Post)

Geo writez:

Hi, I was hoping you may be able to help with a college project I’m working on with a friend of mine. We’re trying to create an app to improve the buying/renting experience of people in Ireland (it’s horrific). If you could share this survey it would be really appreciated.

In fairness.

You can do the survey here