UCSF Launches Pilot of Privacy-Preserving Smartphone Tool to Help Slow Spread of COVID-19

woman wearing a mask and looking at a cellphone

UC San Francisco is piloting the use of California COVID Notify, a smartphone-based tool that allows users to opt-in to receive an alert if they’ve had a high-risk exposure to COVID-19.

Starting Sept. 30, students, faculty and staff at UCSF will be invited to activate COVID Notify on their smartphones. Those who opt in will be among the first Californians to test the tool as part of a limited pilot that will help policymakers decide whether to make COVID Notify available statewide.

“We’re hoping to find out if exposure notification tools like COVID Notify can supplement the essential work being done every day by human contact tracers,” said Robert Kosnik, MD, director of the UCSF Occupational Health Program, which is overseeing the rollout of the tool at UCSF. “If the pilot succeeds, it may lead to widespread adoption of COVID Notify, providing Californians with a convenient tool that may help

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