COVID-19 Case Tracking App Released by Team of Ottawa-Based Shopify
‘COVID Shield’ is a new app released by a team of volunteers at Ottawa-based Shopify aimed at helping local residents and governments launch their own exposure notification systems. The app is described as “a private, secure, and easy-to-use tool” that can track Coronavirus spread and potential exposure (via OttawaMatters).
Developers of COVID Shield say they want to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so they are releasing it free of charge with an open-source license.
The app is made up of three parts: a mobile app, a server, and a web-based results portal that provides healthcare professionals “unique temporary codes” which can be shared with users who have tested positive for COVID-19. The codes let users upload their random IDs via the mobile app without sharing personal information.
Use of the portal is optional, as the server can also be used to generate temporary COVID Shield codes.
The server then securely collects and stores random IDs uploaded from the mobile app after a confirmed positive test result. It also generates unique temporary codes which grant permission for people with a positive COVID-19 test result to upload their random IDs.
Finally, the mobile app itself runs in the background and requires no user interaction after onboarding.
The Shopify volunteers say the server is flexible enough to be deployed at various levels of government. More information about COVID Shield is available here.