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Hangzhou, China, to convert coronavirus health tracking app for future use

Innovative response

Hangzhou, the Chinese tech-hub megacity, have announced plans to use their health code app from their coronavirus response in future public health plans.

The app displays a QR code with the user's current viral status, granting different freedoms of movement depending on your status or not.

The plans for the app is to integrate other health data and indicators to develop individual rankings, scoring citizens based off indicators including medical records, physical test results, level of activity and other lifestyle choices, giving a colour-coded score out of 100.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

The epidemic has shown that detailed and granular data can help authorities better break chains of transmission in the spread of the virus. Now that citizens have downloaded one pre-existing app, there is already the technical infrastructure for the city to build on this initial app, and potentially expand their public health capabilities as a result, beyond simply managing the movement of populations who do or don't have the virus.

Organisations/institutions involved

Hangzhou Health Commission

Potential issues

The app, with its collection, storage and processing of citizen health data, raises concerns about privacy and transparency - how will government use and store data, and what say will citizens have in this use?

Issues being addressed:

  • Patient care
  • Resource management and mobilisation
  • Real-time data collection, sharing, and analysis

Date Submitted:

26 May 2020