“Bermuda has been fortunate to work with the developers to create WeHealth Bermuda, an app specifically designed for the island,” Premier David Burt said, adding that “we will be running public pilot programmes as early as next week.”
Speaking at last night’s [Oct 27] press briefing, Premier Burt said, “As we work tirelessly to safely boost the economy and welcome more tourists and as that effort picks up steam, we must be vigilant and ensure that we remain on the frontlines of the battle against the spread of the coronavirus.
“To that end, and I’ve spoken about it before about the technology tools which will be needed as we move into a period when we are seeing more cases worldwide and sadly a few more imported cases here.
“The Government has partnered with WeHealth, a company formed from the research efforts of University of Waterloo in Canada and Stanford University, who created Covid Watch, an app designed to track and trace COVID-19 exposures.
“Government’s Information and Digital Technology Department has been running internal pilot programmes to test the effectiveness of the WeHealth App. We are pleased with the early results. Bermuda has been fortunate to work with the developers to create WeHealth Bermuda, an app specifically designed for the island. We will be running public pilot programmes as early as next week, after both the Apple and Google App stores approve its release to their platforms.
“Launching the app is one part of the solution, as it is only as effective as the users make it; it is the Government’s hope that Bermudians will download use the app so its data is accurate and timely. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
“One of the things that is certainly a consideration is to possibly add qualifications for the attendance at large events, persons will be required to have this app on and activated, which will certainly help in contact tracing efforts for the government if in the case there is an outbreak.
“As I said, pilots will launch next week, and in the coming weeks I’ll be happy to update members of the public on what we are doing there. But it is certainly something the Department of Information and Digital Technology has been working on and we are pleased we are now at the point where Bermuda will be able to launch an app which is specifically, not one of the early rushed apps which did not necessarily work, but one that is specifically on the Google and Apple protocol which meets all privacy requirements which ensures that your data stays private but can ensure we can tackle any outbreak which may happen in Bermuda.
“It’s just another example of the Government making sure that we are taking our time, working with the persons who have experience in this area, so we can deploy solutions that can certainly serve this country well and we continue to battle the coronavirus.”