There are two NHS apps which have different functions, one for your general medical records and COVID vaccination status for travel — and the other for checking into venues for Test and Trace purposes.
The main reason why there are two apps and not one, is because the Test and Trace app “has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus not people, and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy,” according to the Department for Health.
Backers of the more centralised NHS App say it can give the authorities more insight into the spread of the virus and how well the app is performing, but supporters of the decentralised Test and Trace app say it offers users a higher degree of privacy, protecting them from hackers.
Here’s everything you need to know about the two NHS apps:
The NHS App is a general app that was introduced in 2018 with the primary purpose for booking GP/hospital appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions.
Since the pandemic, the app has expanded its reach, now allowing users to show their COVID-19 status for travel as well as a record of coronavirus vaccinations.
You are also able to access your GP health record, manage your organ donation decision and choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning.
It requires your NHS login in order to keep personal information secure.
There is also an advice section that allows you to learn more about COVID-19, search conditions and treatments as well as using NHS 111 online.
You can download the NHS App here.
NHS COVID-19 app
The NHS COVID-19 app is predominantly used as a Test and Trace app which allows users to check into venues to help stop the spread of coronavirus, and alerts you if you have been near an infected individual for a certain amount of time for contact tracing purposes.
It doesn’t track individuals and does not hold personal information about individuals such as name, address or date of birth. It just requires the first part of your postal code.
You are also able to check your symptoms by ticking boxes and given advice based on your answers.
If you are tested for coronavirus and receive a code with your test result, you are able to enter this code into the app and it will give you instructions based on your COVID status.
There are additional options for finding out more about testing for COVID-19 in the app, which can be downloaded here.