Until an effective vaccine or therapeutic is found to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists believe that contact tracing is a critical deterrent against the deadly spread of infection. However, before regional governments and health departments can release tracker apps to capture and share vital information, they must have confidence that the service is user-friendly, fast and reliable, with the capacity to handle millions of downloads per hour. To be effective and trusted, the technology must first meet the needs and expectations of the population. Robust testing and quality assurance is therefore a pivotal stage of development.
Since March 2020, Expleo has partnered with the health systems in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and now Scotland to stress test their new tracker apps. Available on smartphones nationwide, the apps will alert users if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, defining a close contact as someone who was within two metres of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more.
The technology relies on a number of key features such as proximity detection, interoperability between devices and across borders, and a positive user experience. Across the three projects, Expleo people have made over 10,000 software tests across thousands of man hours, working against the clock to provide a solution that has the potential to save thousands of lives in the coming months. Our teams have also tested multiple devices in multiple simulated environments, including public transport, to ensure that the app performs in all relevant surroundings
Setting the standard
The StopCOVID NI app in Northern Ireland is the world’s first cross-border tracker device aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, and is built to have interoperability with the COVID Tracker app deployed in the Republic of Ireland.
Proud to contribute
Contact tracing technology is providing a critical weapon in automating the global battle against the spread of COVID 19. Expleo has developed Mobi-Q COVID, a packaged assurance service that enables rapid testing of any jurisdiction deployment worldwide. Mobi-Q COVID offers global service delivery, proven skills and expertise in testing the technology and a supporting automated cloud-based testing platform.
The range of quality checks include performance and load testing to ensure that large volumes of people could download it at the same time without causing it to crash. Exposure notification distance testing measures the strength of Bluetooth on devices to maximise compliance with requirements. The look and feel of the app is a vital factor in successful roll-out, so user experience and accessibility are tested to promote user-friendly navigation and reliable functionality. Expleo’s teams also provide security testing to protect against inadvertent use of the software and supporting technology infrastructure.
Find out how we played a pivotal role in ensuring the successful launch and roll-out of the NHS Scotland’s COVID-19 contact-tracing app, Ireland’s Ireland HSE’s COVID-19 contact tracing app and Norther Irelands’s StopCOVID NI contact tracing app.