A new app has been launched to support the Saudi government’s efforts in tackling the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect residents. The move comes as the number of COVID-19 infections continue to rise in the Kingdom. Launched by The Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Tabaud (Distancing) mobile app, warns people in heavily populated areas when they are in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
The app, which seemingly uses Bluetooth and encryption technology, detects other phones with the same app, determines the distance and notifies users of potentially dangerous encounters. Tabaud users receive direct and pro-active notifications when they come across any registered individuals who have contracted COVID-19 in the last 14 days. The contact tracing app sends encrypted data to smartphones running the app, distinguishing people with the virus and giving information about their devices. This is all done in accordance to regulations endorsed by Google and Apple as the app maintains the full protection of users’ privacy.
Saudi authorities launched Tabaud, a new mobile app to notify people who visit crowded areas in KSA where individuals contracted COVID-19 in the past 14 days. pic.twitter.com/yybyiz96v8— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) June 15, 2020
“Users can share their information and then contact those he or she came into contact with,” Dr Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, a ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying by Arab News.
“The people who came into contact with the infected person will receive an anonymous notification that will ask them to get an early detection exam.”
Tabaud also allows users to request direct medical assistance from the Ministry of Health. Health forms can be sent via the app to help provide the necessary support, depending on the status and progress of the case. Plus, people who have been infected are able to voluntarily share test results with whoever they have had contact with in the past 14 days.