India is repurposing its COVID-19 contact tracing app and vaccination website to address other health concerns in the South Asian country.
A senior official said on Sunday that the Indian government plans to use Aarogya Setu as the country’s standalone health app.
The app allows residents to book medical checkups and verify registrations with QR codes to avoid queuing at hospitals, RS Sharma, the chief executive of the National Health Authority, said. the body that oversees the implementation of the country’s flagship public health scheme, said at a public event.
Launched in 2020, Aarogya Setu has amassed more than 240 million downloads, he said. The app was initially launched as a “temporary solution to a temporary problem.
Shortly after its launch, Aarogya Setu, which means “bridge to health” in Sanskrit, sparked some concern from privacy advocates about the app’s tracking of individuals. New Delhi dismissed the concerns, saying at the time that the so-called flaws by design have been implemented in the app. Weeks later, the app open sourced.
The Indian government is also using its COVID-19 vaccination website, CoWIN, to serve the country’s universal immunization program.
The revamped site will allow individuals to find and obtain mandatory vaccines covered by the national immunization program, including the polio drops, and attempt to help small-scale physicians use it as their health information management system, said Sharma, who previously oversaw the national telecommunications. regulator.
COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network, commonly referred to as CoWIN, was launched in January last year as the Indian government’s platform to maintain a unified registry of COVID-19 vaccination.