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  • Bent Petersen

COVID-19 Smitte|stop app has been launched

The Danish Health authorities have today launched an app named "Smitte|stop", which has the aim to aid stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the Danish society. The app will only work if many people download and install the app, as I did in the morning. I think you should do the same. The setup is very easy, you basically just click one button. You can read more about the app on https://smittestop.dk/about-the-app.


Apple phones - https://apps.apple.com/dk/app/smitte-stop/id1516581736

Google phones - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netcompany.smittestop_exposure_notification&hl=da

Below is selected information that I have taken from the https://smittestop.dk/about-the-app website, please visit the website for up-to-date information.


What is the purpose of this app?

Smitte|stop is an app designed to help Danish public health authorities contain the spread of COVID-19 as society slowly reopens. COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals. Right now, we have a limited number of people infected with the coronavirus in Denmark. We want to keep it that way even though people have started meeting at workplaces, in public transportation and have begun socialising.


By using the app, you can easily and anonymously let people with whom you have had close contact know that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This includes people you meet randomly, e.g. people you meet in public transportation, at theatres, in cafés etc.


Thus, the app is an essential part of transitioning back to daily life while managing the risk of further outbreaks.


How does the app prevent coronavirus transmission?

​Traditional methods of contact tracing are critical to containing the spread of the coronavirus. Technology can support and augment these efforts by allowing the public health authorities to quickly notify people who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19, including those the person might not know directly. This is exactly what the Danish health authorities wish to accomplish with the smitte|stop app.

When you are in close proximity to another individual who has the smitte|stop app on his or her smartphone, the smartphones will start sending signals (IDs) to each other by using Bluetooth-based contact tracing. In this way, your phone registers other people’s phones with which you have had close contact.

If an app user is diagnosed with COVID-19, the app will remember that you, i.e. your phone, has had close contact with that person. You will then receive a notification warning you that you might have been exposed to the coronavirus. In the same notification, Danish health authorities will advise you on how to react to the exposure and how you can help limit further spread of COVID-19.

And vice versa. You can use the app to let those app users with whom you have had close contact know if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Then they can follow the recommendations given by the Danish health authorities as well as prevent further coronavirus transmission.

Rest assured, there is no information to tell you who those people actually are or where you were when you were near them. Your identity is not shared with other users either. In the notifications, you are completely anonymous. No one will know the identity of the one who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and subsequently has shared that information in the app.


How does “Exposure Notification System”- technology works?

Once you opt-in to the notification system, the Exposure Notifications System will generate a random ID for your device. To help ensure these random IDs can’t be used to identify you or your location, they change every 10-20 minutes.

Your phone and the phones around you will work in the background to exchange these privacy-preserving random IDs via Bluetooth. You do not need to have the app open for this process to take place.

Your phone periodically checks all the random IDs associated with positive COVID-19 cases against its own list. If there is a match, the app will notify you with further instructions and recommendations from the Danish health authorities on how to keep you and the people around you safe.


Can I use the app in foreign countries?

You need to have a Danish Google Play account or a Danish Apple account to download the app. If you are on vacation or works in a foreign country and you are in close proximit to other users of the Danish version of the smitte|stop app, the app will register your contact. However, the app cannot register users diagnosed with COVID-19 from other countries’ public health authorities.

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Bent Petersen

University of Copenhagen
GLOBE Institute
Section for Evolutionary Genomics
Øster Farimagsgade 5
1353 Copenhagen K
DENMARK

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