B’ham-based company creating app with ADPH, UAB to slow spread of COVID-19

Local company helps build COVID tracing app

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We're getting an update on just how soon you could possibly download the app that could help ADPH slow the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Ivey mentioned last week about our state's deal with Google and Apple to use their new technology that would help notify people of possible exposure.

MotionMobs is the software development and consulting company now helping to build the app.

The woman-owned company is based right here in Birmingham.

MotionMobs is partnering with the Alabama Department of Public Health and UAB to create this app.

The app isn't quite available yet, but when it is, UAB said they'll highly recommend staff and students use it.

MotionMobs said with the Exposure Notifications technology built by Google and Apple, the app can tell someone they may have been exposed to the virus.

Once you install the app, Bluetooth would exchange randomized keys between app users that are close to each other.

If an app user is diagnosed with COVID-19, the app would then alert all other app users who were near that infected app user recently.

“This technology gives us the ability to track our interactions with complete strangers. So you may pass somebody in the grocery store, and you don’t exchange names with them. You don’t exchange contact information,” said Emily Hart with MotionMobs. “And so if that person later tests positive for COVID-19, using mobile technology like this is the only way that you’re going to know that, through the interaction with a stranger, you’ve been exposed.”

MotionMobs said the hope is that the app will be available in a month or less.

The name of the app hasn’t been released yet. And for those with privacy concerns, Hart said the app doesn’t access other data or GPS on your phone and you don’t even have to enter your name.

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