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Northern Ireland gets coronavirus app

30/03/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Northern Ireland’s Department of Health (DoH) has launched a new app for advice on the coronoavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus

It has been developed by the DoH digital team with IT services provider Civica and locally based digital design company Big Motive to help users decide if they need advice from a healthcare professional.

Named the Covid-19 NI app, it enables people to ask questions through a chatbot that automatically reviews guidance to find a response to specific queries and directs them to a series of relevant links.

Once downloaded it will also provide push notifications including the latest public health advice.

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I recognise that people in Northern Ireland need access to up to date information at this worrying time and this vital initiative will complement all the other work we are doing across our health and care services.”

“The pressure on our services is going to be unprecedented and this is an important resource for those who need local information quickly. 

“We have made this investment knowing that trusted local health guidance is critically important. We expect the app will also help us track the impact of Covid-19, which will assist us in planning and directing services and supports to the best of our ability.”

It is available to anyone currently residing in Northern Ireland and can be used to obtain advice for another person.

The DoH said the app does not collect any personally identifiable data, but that it will collect information related to postcode and age of the user to track the local impact of coronavirus. This will feed into its targeting of resources in its response.

Image from Sergio Santos, http://nursingschoolsnearme.com, CC BY 2.0

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