Coronavirus application HOIA to continue regardless of small user numbers

An advert from the Health Board's
An advert from the Health Board's "Let’s keep Estonia open!" campaign encouraging people to download HOIA. Source: Terviseamet

The number of people using the HOIA app, designed for informing users about coronavirus close contacts, has fallen, but the Health Board (Terviseamet) is not planning to end developing it.

As of now, development work for the app has been ordered to the tune of €73,000. Regardless of updates, the number of users has, however, decreased in the summer months, the Health Board's communicable diseases department head specialist, Kerstin-Gertrud Kärblane, said.

"At the start of July, a new version, HOIA in Europe came out. HOIA mediates the information about close contacts with other apps that have joined the service. As the infection numbers have been lower during summer months, however, the number of downloads has increased significantly," Kärblane said.

Kärblane said that as of Tuesday, HOIA had been downloaded 288,244 times, while there were 27 active cases among its users.

A software company's system analyst, Riho Laast-Laas, said that even with the fall in numbers, the app has its uses.

"In the magazine Nature, research was published which stated that coronavirus apps are starting to operate effectively when over 20 percent of the population uses them," he said.

The Health Board said couldn't comment on the future updates for HOIA, though Laast-Laas said that the application could be made accessible for more target groups.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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