IIUM launches MyTrace to assist Health Ministry in contact tracing

By Ariani Mohd Nor

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 July 2020: The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has launched MyTrace, a mobile application that can be used to trace close contacts of COVID-19 patients.

The application, developed by a team of experts led by Head of IT Department, Prof. Datuk Dr. Norbik Bashah Idris along with five lecturers and software engineers from IAT and Google Malaysia, can be used to help the Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as the public to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Dr. Norbik said that this effort was pitched by Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), Khairy Jamaluddin. “He personally asked us (IIUM) to develop a special application to help those in the MoH,” Dr. Norbik explained.

The application features ‘Contact Trackers’ – an identification process that notifies the public on the whereabout of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Members of MoH can use this feature to trace and contact those who have been in proximity with said individuals through SMS and plan their next course of action.

“The database enables MoH officials to contact users through the data collected from the app,” Dr. Norbik clarifies. “The data collected are their Unique User ID (UUID), their operating system (Android or iOS), their meeting time, and Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) value.”

“It is important to note that MyTrace does not collect any users’ geolocation data as it is considered private data.”

The IIUM-made application is now fully owned and handled by the government and is compliant to the safety standards of the nation.

To use the application, users only need to turn on the Bluetooth feature from their smartphones. However, this application uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology that does not drain batteries as quickly as normal Bluetooth features, thus users do not need to worry about draining their battery.

This mobile application can be downloaded and installed through the MySejahtera app, or from the Google Play Store and Apple App Stores. ***

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