Budapest, Hungary. Photo: MTI

A Hungarian team is developing an app that tells you whether you have met someone infected by the coronavirus in the last 14 days. If so, the app can tell you when it happened, how close you were, and how long you stayed close to one another. The company is looking for a healthcare organisation to launch the app. The app is an open-source, and it might soon be ready. The company is planning to donate it to the WHO or another big, trustworthy healthcare organisation, Portfolio said.

The founder of the Hungarian IT development company announced on Facebook that they are building a free, open-source coronavirus app – VirusContact – using their own resources. The app will be ready next week, and not only for the Hungarian market. The app would not be released by the development company, rather, they are looking for a large, well-known healthcare organisation, such as the WHO. They would like a great organisation behind the application to build trust in their prospective users.

The four-person IT development company, Visual Cortex Ltd, is based in Budapest and was founded by Krisztián Werderits.

Krisztián said that the app is completely anonymous. If someone turns out to be ill, the first thing to do is notify those you made contact with: family members, friends, and colleagues. Unfortunately, you are not able to notify anyone you may have met on public transportation, in a shop, or on the street. The app, on the other hand, is able to remember and compare users’ location data and, thanks to bluetooth, how far they were from one another and how long they stayed in the same area.

If someone claims to have tested positive for coronavirus, they will inform those – if enabled by the user – who have crossed their path in the last 14 days.

The app is voluntary; it is not based on any official database, rather on “community” data. Only those will be marked infected by coronavirus who claim it in a statement in the app. It is important to point out that anyone who makes false statements about it is committing a crime. The data transferred through the app will be stored in a secure cloud service and will automatically be deleted after 14 days.

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