StayAway Covid is the name of the application developed in Portugal for smartphones, already available for download at the App Store and Google Play stores, and which aims to assist the country in tracking COVID-19. This application was developed by INESC TEC and ISPUP, with the support of Keyruptive and Ubirider, and is a project funded by FCT, through the INCoDe initiative, and accompanied by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition and Ministry of Health.
The application, available in Portuguese and English, allows each one of us, in a simple and safe way, to be informed about possible risk exposures to the disease, by monitoring recent contacts. The application is voluntary and free of charge and works without having any access to the user's identity or personal data, always guaranteeing the user's anonymity.
Once the user installs the application the cell phone announces its presence to all nearby devices, using random identifiers that do not reveal personal identities. The information shared between devices allows StayAway Covid to identify which phones have been close, how close and for how long, enabling an assessment of the users' degree of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (new coronavirus), which may be either "No record of high risk of contagion" or "High risk of contagion alert". The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that contacts within 2 meters and for more than 15 minutes, with someone carrying COVID-19, are considered at high risk of contagion.
In case the user has contracted COVID-19, when they receive the diagnosis they also receive a numerical code to enter into the application, which anonymously communicates this data to the system and allows the StayAway Covid application to immediately and safely alert all users who may have been exposed, even before they have had any symptoms. No one's identity is ever revealed to anyone.
Since August 28, when it was made available, the StayAway Covid application has been downloaded about 100,000 times.