NHS tracing app reveals issues in Isle of Wight trial

A trial of the NHS contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight has unveiled some issues with the software, Downing Street said.

The app uses a phone’s bluetooth technology to register contact when people come within 6ft of one another for at least 15 minutes.

Work is now being carried out to solve several issues with the app. One problem is that it won’t run on older phones running systems older than Apple IoS 11 or Android 8.

Questions over NHS tracing app

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “A significant number of people in the Isle of Wight have downloaded the app.

“As you would expect, the pilot has uncovered some issues with it but they are being fixed as we go along.

“The view of the health secretary and those working on the app is that it is progressing well.”

The spokesman added that the purpose of the pilot was to identify issues which needed solving “and we are working through them as we find them”.

More from Coronavirus

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the app would be rolled out across England by mid-May following the trial on the Isle of Wight.

He told Sky News: “The Isle of Wight project has gone well so far, we’ve learned a lot about how the app operates.

“We’re pleased with progress and we’re going to bring it in.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News the app would be “a fantastic way to ensure that we are really able to keep a lid on this going forward and we don’t get that second wave” of COVID-19 infections.

A sign telling people in the Isle of Wight to download the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app
Image: A sign telling people in the Isle of Wight to download the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app

He added that 50-60% of the population would need to use the app for it to be effective.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Downing Street said this week it was “confident” that a team of 18,000 contact tracers, comprising of 15,000 call handlers and 3,000 health staff, would be available from next week.

However testing again failed to meet the 100,000 daily target, 85,293 tests carried out or dispatched in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday.

Related posts

‘One more thing’: What to expect from Apple’s surprise event


T-cell immunity exists six months after COVID-19 infection, study finds


The married couple behind the successful Pfizer COVID vaccine