Dedicated Northern Ireland Covid-19 app launched

THE Department of Health Northern Ireland has launched a new Covid-19 NI information app.

The new app is dedicated to providing people across Northern Ireland with immediate advice and links to vital trusted information, as the situation with the pandemic evolves we will keep the app up to date.

The app includes guidance on the symptoms of the coronavirus infection and supports individuals to identify whether they might potentially have the infection.

It will also provide advice on what actions people should take if they think they may have coronavirus.

The information provided will also help people decide if they need advice from a health or care professional and how best to access that advice should they need it.

People can ask specific questions through the app with an Advice Search ‘chatbot’ that automatically reviews all the guidance to find a response to match individual queries.

By providing early and easily accessible advice to the public, and information on whether someone may need to speak to a healthcare professional the app should also help with easing pressure on GP surgeries, pharmacies and other community services.

Once downloaded, people who use the app will also receive push notifications, which will include the latest public health advice.

Health Minister Robin Swann praised the unparalleled speed of delivery of this important resource by Department of Health’s Digital Team and local companies Civica and Big Motive who were also involved in developing the app.

He said: “I recognise that people in Northern Ireland need access to up to date information at this worrying time and this vital initiative will complement all the other work we are doing across our health and care services.”

“The pressure on our services is going to be unprecedented and this is an important resource for those who need local information quickly.

“ We have made this investment knowing that trusted local health guidance is critically important. We expect the app will also help us track the impact of Covid-19, which will assist us in planning and directing services and supports to the best of our ability.”

Who can use this app?

· The app is available to all individuals who are currently residing in Northern Ireland.

· You can use this app to get advice for yourself, or on behalf of someone else that you would like to help.

Data security

· The app does not collect any personally identifiable information.

· The authorities say they will collect information related to the postcode and age of the user to help them track the impact of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

· This will help them to plan services and ensure that resources are directed to the areas of greatest need.

To download the Covid-19 NI app – search for Covid-19 NI on the Apple app store and Covid-19 NI on Google Play.

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