Clemson University researchers testing COVID-19 tracking app ‘SC Safer Together’

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – New technology may help people know if they have been in contact with the Coronavirus.

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Medical University of South Carolina and Clemson University have been working on an app called ‘SC Safer Together’ that could be the key to tracking COVID-19 exposure.

The app uses Bluetooth technology to track the people you spend time with; but only if those people have the app downloaded as well.

If you find out that you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, SC Safer Together will anonymously notify those people that they possibly have been in contact with the virus.

When notified of a potential exposure, the app will provide steps to schedule a telehealth appointment, take a self-assessment or schedule a test.

Katy Richardson, DHEC’s Regional Medical Director of the Lowcountry, says the app sounds like a great idea, if used correctly.

 “It very much hinges on many people having the app — because if you don’t have the app, you won’t be notified,” says Katy Richardson, DHEC’s Regional Medical Director of the Lowcountry.

That said, not everyone is sold on the idea of bluetooth-tracking Coronavirus exposure just yet. Some have raised concerns about privacy and data collecting; others aren’t sure if South Carolinians would actually use the app.

“There’s concerns with privacy, although, I’ve heard presentations on the app and I feel satisfied that it preserves the privacy of the people who use it,” says Richardson.

According to officials, your personal information is not required when using the app. You can see full details about privacy and personal data by clicking here.

Clemson University just rolled out a pilot program to test the app. Their researchers will be tracking how many people use the technology and whether or not it has an effect on COVID-19 numbers on campus.

“It sounds like an exciting new technology to better give people a sense of what their risk might be,” says Richardson.

To download the app, click here.

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