COVID-19 hit; country by country the world ground to a halt. We all became familiar with the headline stats, epidemiology became an interesting new profession. The R-number and contact tracing entered our lexicon as things we all knew about. One good if it’s low, the other something we needed to be able to do. March 21st Singapore released the TraceTogether app a Bluetooth, proximity-based digital contact tracing app. Many other countries had already started on similar journeys to build a system that could use technology to speed up and solve the problem of warning people when they became close contacts. The journey started on our national patron saints day March 17th – after 100 days (100 days in COVID time approximates to 3 years in the old world) an app was born (110 days there was a long labour).
This is the story of all the apps born or buried during COVID-19 crisis to-date. It’s a story of rapid decision making, global collaboration, intense external scrutiny and hopefully redemption.