Company behind Ireland's tracing app developing one for Scotland - but not England

4 August 2020, 19:52

By Seán Hickey

The company behind Ireland's coronavirus contact tracing app has been developing one for Scotland, but has not had any interest from the English government.

Larry Breen is the Chief Commercial Officer of NewForm, a technology company that developed the contact tracing app for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which upon release had one of the highest rates of download of any other.

Eddie Mair asked Mr Breen if his company are "going to be working with governments in Great Britain."

The technology expert told Eddie that NewForm are "working with the Scottish government," to develop a contact tracing app for Scotland, but when pushed on whether they are working with the English government, he said they were not.

"So far we've got Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland...Scotland will be following shortly along," he said.

Ireland's contact tracing app has had a very high uptake
Ireland's contact tracing app has had a very high uptake. Picture: PA

Mr Breen told Eddie that his company can "from a standing start, get a country up and running with a foundation app within four weeks," and this has been at the core of the success of the app in Ireland.

Eddie wondered what the take up has been so far in Ireland, which the CCO of NewForm confirmed that in the Republic of Ireland it is 40%, when in an ideal situation, these apps need a take up of "20% or above."

"As soon as you get that product out there and it's actually working, it is already doing it's job," Mr Breen said.

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