Everything about the STOP COVID ProteGo Safe app
Perhaps you have it on your phone or iPhone. You know its functions well but are curious who came up with it. If that’s the case, then this article is for you. You will learn how we’ve created the application to counteract the spread of the coronavirus. What if you don’t use it? This article is also for you. It tells about what functionalities the application has.
The history of the STOP COVID ProteGO Safe app begins on March 13, 2020. On that day, the idea was born to take action that would support people and medical services in the fight against the virus, which would help reduce social uncertainty. Mateusz Romanów – co-owner of a creative digital agency 25wat – began to gather around him scientists and entrepreneurs from Wrocław who were close to the idea: let’s not complain, but act. This is how we’ve created the dynamic, bottom-up SafeSafe initiative, during which 120 people collaborated — specialists in many fields: designers, medics, pharmacists, psychologists, economists, lawyers, programmers, and software testers.
As a result of social cooperation, after 14 days, the first version of the application was released as SafeSafe App - the prototype of today’s STOP COVID ProteGO Safe. Already at the prototype level, the core of the application to counteract the spread of COVID-19 were three main functionalities:
- self-observation and self-assessment of health condition — a professional COVID-19 infection risk assessment survey, developed by doctors based on the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Robert Koch Institute;
- health diary - the possibility of recording daily health observations and a place to create medical documentation, e.g., on chronic diseases;
- prophylaxis — tips on seeking specialist help, what to remember, how to protect yourself against infection.
If it is true that there is a hidden opportunity in every crisis, then that difficult time mobilized us to act and became a stimulus to create an innovative solution. We’ve designed a free application to assess the risk of COVID-19 infection at an express pace, which as the SafeSafe App was the first such solution in Poland. Later — as ProteGO Safe — the second such application in the EU
– says Mateusz Romanów, CEO, co-founder of 25wat and Tytans24, initiator of the initiative and leader of the team working on the application.
We created the app in March 2020, in the first days of the coronavirus turmoil in Poland. SafeSafe App is a grassroots non-profit initiative, yet — thanks to people devoting every spare moment to it — it is increasing. Already 72 hours after the action initiation, over 50 people are working on the prototype model (at the peak — 120). The application’s primary goals are: counteracting the spread of COVID-19, minimizing social insecurity, supporting medics by decreasing the number of patients.
The first version of the SafeSafe App is ready after 14 days. It is installed directly from the website www.koronazglowy.com. It was produced in PWA technology (works like a website). It is free, safe, and entirely anonymous. It does not collect the user’s data on external servers. All information about the language only, on the item marker, it writes.
Its basic functionalities are quick health analysis based on a risk assessment questionnaire, a health diary, and a knowledge base on prevention and countermeasures, thanks to which you can minimize the risk of infection.
Until it transforms into ProteGO Safe and goes under government guardianship, the SafeSafe App has 150,000 downloads.
Simultaneously, the titanic and entirely social work of people who were united by the idea to counter the threat, support each other, and protect each other resulted in an innovative solution, available to everyone
– sums up Mateusz Romanów.
It is the turn of April and May 2020, when the SafeSafe App changes to ProteGO Safe and becomes an application of the Ministry of Digital Affairs and the Polish government. Cooperation with the state administration is necessary to increase the solution’s availability and further develop it. Without institutional authorization, neither Google nor Apple want to introduce applications to their apps. (This is how digital giants fight disinformation about the coronavirus).
The next version of the application gets a new design. It is also extended with the Exposure Notifications protocol (which replaces OpenTrace) and works based on Bluetooth technology. This solution allows you to monitor contacts between devices, and more precisely — enables the exchange of encrypted keys between devices. Therefore, any user diagnosed with COVID-19 can — by sharing the keys — anonymously alert people with whom he had contact.
The application is still developed based on open-source software. Its most essential assumptions also remain unchanged: it is safe, anonymous, and accessible. It does not collect or use user data stored in the phone’s memory.
ProteGO Safe attracts new users, and new functionalities are added to the existing functionalities: the possibility of signing up for the COVID-19 test without the need to contact a primary care physician and information about current restrictions in counties.
Stop COVID ProteGO Safe
December 2020 is coming. The world is still struggling with the pandemic, but apart from restrictions, isolation, and prevention, it has a new weapon — vaccines. ProteGO Safe evolves, changes its name to STOP COVID ProteGO Safe, and becomes more prosperous with new amenities for users. The already mentioned ones include:
- vaccination statistics
- availability in six languages (Polish, German, English, Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish) and the ability to take on the role of a social translator and translate the application into another selected language
- function: Warn in Europe
The latter feature is triggered after the application becomes interoperable and starts interacting with its European counterparts. It is possible after Poland joins the Federal Gateway (EFGS) created by the European Commission — a network gateway for receiving, storing, and sharing European Union application keys.
From now on, Stop COVID ProteGO Safe users can send a notification of possible exposure to coronavirus to users of similar applications from around the EU. And vice versa — they can receive such notifications without having to install other countries’ applications.
Invariably, the primary purpose of the application is to counteract the spread of COVID-19. So far, it has almost 2 million downloads.