• Minister downgrades status of UK contact-tracing app from vital to ‘cherry on cake’

    The UK government has effectively downgraded the significance and status of the yet-to-be-launched contact-tracing app that is intended to help the country’s fight back against Covid-19.

    And in a further blow to the much-delayed project, questions are now being asked about the efficacy of the Bluetooth technology used in the UK app’s fundamental nature.

    The app is still officially under development and being trialled on the Isle of Wight, but misgivings over its technical nature have led to a shadow app project with a different technological basis.

    On 28 May, the UK government announced the NHS Test and

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  • UK to boost data science efforts in citizen services

    The UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) has launched a new initiative to boost government services and information with data science.

    Central to a GDS transformation agenda, the Gov.UK Data Labs division is intended to evolve the government’s approach to using data to develop and improve products and services. The team will be expanded in 2020 and will focus on the provision of data insights to government departments, as well as personalisation and development of infrastructure to enhance the government’s vision of data-driven citizen services.

    At present, GDS uses quantitative and qualitative data to understand aspects such as user volumes

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  • Hospital uses thermal surveillance cameras to protect patients against second wave of Covid-19

    The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has deployed heat-detecting cameras in an effort to protect front-line NHS workers and patients from a second wave of Covid-19 cases. It claims to be the first NHS trust to use such technology to detect patients who may have the coronavirus.

    Temperature surveillance systems that have been trialled in public spaces such as airports and restaurants are now also starting to be deployed in the healthcare sector.

    Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire, which is run by UHNM, has installed the first of eight thermal cameras in an initiative funded by

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