Government Technology Singapore’s TraceTogether programme for contact-tracing has won the 2020 Gartner Government Eye on Innovation Award for Asia-Pacific, beating three other finalists, two from Taiwan and one from India.
Launched in March 2020, the agency’s TraceTogether program is the first nationwide Bluetooth contact-tracing solution. It was developed in-house by engineers and rolled out for nationwide use within eight weeks.
Subsequently it was made open source for other countries to adopt.
The solution comprises of an app, as well as a physical token for the less tech-savvy. It records encounters between users in an anonymized fashion. These data can quickly identify users who have close contact with a COVID-19 case and establish links between clusters.
The use of digital contact tracing has enabled the government to go from taking two to three days to do activity mapping for a patient, to issuing a quarantine order within one day.
“We are humbled and grateful for the support we have received from our 3.4 million users – 60 per cent of Singapore’s population,” said TraceTogether team lead and Government Technology Agency senior director Jason Bay.
“Thank you for walking this journey of community-driven contact tracing with us, and supporting the use of Bluetooth mobile technology to contribute in the fight against Covid-19.”
TraceTogether key to moving to Phase 3
Contract tracing plays a key role in limiting transmission. A condition for phasing in Phase 3 is the participation rate in TraceTogether. Currently the participation rate is less than 70%.
The TraceTogether programme must see a participation rate of 70%.
Come end of December, it will be mandatory to check in with the TraceTogether app or token to gain entry to all public places including restaurants, workplaces, schools and shopping malls.
The other options of SafeEntry by scanning the SafeEntry QR code with your phone or SingPass mobile app, or scanning the barcodes of your NRIC will no longer be available.