eHealth and COVID-19
Applications can help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and support the gradual lifting of confinement measures, by informing citizens if they have been in proximity of persons infected by the virus, and encouraging them to inform their health authorities and to ask support. The European Commission and the Member States have defined a common approach for efficient contact tracing apps.
EU Member States, supported by the Commission, adopted an EU toolbox on 16 April 2020 to use mobile applications for privacy-preserving contact tracing and warning in response to the coronavirus pandemic. On 13 May 2020 the EU Members States, with the support of the European Commission, adopted interoperability guidelines for approved contact tracing mobile applications in the EU. Contact tracing apps are voluntarily installed by citizens and are based on Bluetooth proximity technology that does not enable tracking of people’s locations. These apps alert people who have been in proximity to an infected person for a certain duration, so that they can take necessary actions to protect themselves and the people around them, for example, by self-isolating and getting tested. This way infection transmission can be interrupted rapidly.
A key principle of the guidelines is that users should be able to rely on a single app wherever they are in the EU at a certain moment, based on the interoperability between these apps and between the countries. App users’ privacy and data must be safeguarded. The national authorities will deactivate the apps at the end of the pandemic, and users are free to uninstall it at any time.
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/1023 of 15 July 2020 amending Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1765 as regards the cross-border exchange of data between national contact tracing and warning mobile applications with regard to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, OJ L 227I , 16.7.2020, p. 1–9
- Towards a common approach mobility data for modelling
- Mobile applications to support contact tracing in the EU’s fight against COVID-19 – progress reporting June 2020
- Coronavirus: Member States agree on an interoperability solution for mobile tracing and warning apps
- eHealth Network Guidelines to the EU Member States and the European Commission on interoperability specifications for cross-border transmission chains between approved apps
- Technical specifications for interoperability of contact tracing apps - eHealth Network Guidelines to the EU Member States and the European Commission on Interoperability specifications for cross-border transmission chains between approved apps
- Commission Recommendation to support exit strategies through mobile data and apps
- EU Toolbox
- Guidance to ensure full data protection standards of apps fighting the pandemic
- Interoperability guidelines for approved contact tracing mobile applications in the EU