NHS app developer Covid-19 has received a £ 10million six-month extension to continue offering contact location services.
Swiss company Zühlke Engineering will continue to build and operate the NHS Test and Trace application and support systems, including the application’s cloud services, public control panel and QR code posters.
The company is the lead business partner of the contact tracking app and has been working in the service since development began in early 2020.
The recently published recruitment contract, with a value of 10.26 million pounds, began on March 15, 2021 and is valid until September 30, 2021. It carries the cumulative total of contracts awarded to Zühlke for the development and support of the application contact tracking at over £ 22 million.
A breakdown of the discounts included in the £ 10 million costs was drafted, as well as information on out-of-hours charges and spending limits.
Zühlke will be required to provide “continuous analysis, design and development of new features”, as well as “response, recovery and resolution of production incidents” related to the application, its public control panel, payment gateway isolation and creation of QR code posters.
In addition, the company is expected to provide engineering and technical supervision services for each case, including on-call and off-duty assistants.
“There may be a need for flexibility in terms of the number of staff deployed to better satisfy buyers [Department of Health and Social Care] requirements “, the contract states.
The app will be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure it is aligned with the overall objectives of NHS Test and Trace, the contract added.
In addition to developing new features, Zühlke is expected to support the scalability of the application that the contract has designed to support at least 50 million downloads.
Each version of the new software will be available as open source.
The total cost of the contact tracking application was expected to exceed € 35 at the end of the 2020/21 financial year. About £ 25 million was expected to be spent in 2020/21, while an additional £ 10 million was spent on the development of the original operating model. finally abandoned after strong criticism related to accuracy, data protection and privacy.
Wolfgang Emmerich, founder of Zühlke Engineering, previously told Digital Health News that the app would be an “important pillar” by controlling the spread of Covid-19 when England exits the enclosure.
He said the app has been updated weekly since its release “as policies and science change” and will continue to be updated as blocking restrictions are reduced.
From the app launch in September 2020 has been downloaded 21.63 million times, with 1.7 million users advised to isolate themselves after close contact with someone who had tested positive, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Care of the February 2021.
Government ministers are currently reviewing the data to determine if all Covid restrictions can be lifted before June 21, which would include a return to larger clubs and events.
For an in-depth look at the NHS Covid-19 app, and what went wrong along the way, check out our chronology of events here.