Taiwan willing to share mobile technology to combat COVID-19 pandemic

CNA photo

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan has devised various mobile apps to help combat the COVID-19 coronavirus and is offering to share the technology with other countries, the Central Epidemic Command Center said Monday.

At a daily press briefing, Chien Hung-wei (簡宏偉), CECC information systems chief, said Taiwan has already finished developing a health management app and a separate social distancing app in April but has not put them up for download due to the easing of the COVID-19 situation in the country.

The apps comply with the laws of both the European Union and Taiwan, Chien said.

The health management app utilizes artificial intelligence and GPS technology to help its user to undergo “self-health management,” Chien said.

People undergoing seven-to-14-day self-health management are required to minimize time spent in public, wear a surgical mask and practice self-hygiene to avoid infecting others. They must also test their temperature twice daily and report any suspected symptoms to the 1922 epidemic monitoring hotline.

Meanwhile, the social distancing app uses bluetooth technology and can also help minimize COVID-19 transmission, Chien said.

The app issues an alert on people’s mobile phones if they get too close to each other, Chien said at an earlier press briefing in April.

It will also provide information about crowded venues so that people can avoid going there, and it will give the users data on how often they have come too close to others during each day, he said.

Under the social distancing guidelines issued by the CECC, people are advised to stay at least one meter apart outdoors and 1.5 meters apart indoors.

Taiwan is willing to contribute to the fight against the pandemic by providing the source code to other countries.

“Many foreign media have been inquiring about the social distancing app and we welcome foreign governments to use it,” Chien said.