Italy is preparing to enter Phase 2 of containment measures to combat Covid-19. In May we will begin to slowly return to normal life but the risk is still lurking, which is why we have thought of a technological solution to keep the spread of the disease under strict control. Let’s talk about the Immuni app that will allow us to track people infected with coronavirus. The emergency commissioner, Domenico Arcuri, has entered into an agreement with the Bending Spoons company that will produce the software in collaboration with the Santagostino Diagnostic Center and Jakala. The app will initially be tested in some pilot regions and should be available to everyone by the end of May.
Immuni App, quick and private
The system, known as contact tracing, is the one usually used by public health to prevent and contain the spread of infectious diseases. It allows us to detect potentially infected individuals before symptoms appear and to intervene before the infection is passed on to others.
The Immuni app would guarantee timely actions and above all user privacy. The Bending Spoons company has granted the license to use it for free, only for the spirit of solidarity, and is available to complete the IT developments necessary to launch the app. Always free.
Immuni, here’s how it works
But let’s see what exactly is. Like any app, it can be downloaded for free on your smartphone from the Apple app store for iPhones or Google for mobile phones with an Android heart.
The app works as a clinical agenda where you record your health conditions, any symptoms of the disease or if your swab tested positive. Then there is the part reserved for tracing: external contacts are tracked – via Bluetooth – and remain in the memory on the mobile phone. If the user knows he is infected, he can then decide whether to consent personal data processing. Here then the app goes into action. Thanks to Bluetooth, the mobile phone has, in fact, kept in the memory the devices with which the patient’s smartphone has come into contact. It will therefore be easy to track down the owners and warn them of the risk of infection.
Is privacy at risk?
Many fear that, with this App, privacy would be at risk. However, the software manufacturer has guaranteed it: only the patient will have to authorize the collection and dissemination of the data collected on their mobile phone.
The European Union has already made a commitment to “technologically” support States to ensure user privacy. Meanwhile, data must remain anonymous and the identity of the infected will not be disclosed. People who come into contact with those who have tested positive will be notified with a message on their mobile phone (they must obviously also have the app) and will be invited to take the test or to quaratine themselves. In view of the forthcoming resumption of international travel, it is important to establish an exchange of data with Europe.
The assurances of Prime Minister Conte
No limit to freedom. “The application will be on a voluntary basis and we will ensure that those who do not want to download it will not be subject to limitations in movements or other prejudices”, assured Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
A team made up of the Ministry of Innovation, Health and experts in cyber security is assisting the Emergency Commissioner in order to implement it in the best possible way and with the highest guarantees. Arcuri stressed: “The contact tracing, is fundamental for Phase 2. Without the timely mapping of the contacts, the containment measures cannot be lightened.” Immuni app will therefore serve us to be able to exit slowly from the lockdown and do it safely.