A smartphone app will be developed in coordination with a university in Turkey that will provide safe and efficient information sharing on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries and measures being taken to address it. 

The Pandemic Virus Monitoring Application, or PandeVITA, is supported by the European Commission within the framework of the EU research and innovation funding program Horizon 2020.

The project is being coordinated by the Communications and Design Department of Bilkent University in the Turkish capital Ankara and carried out by Finland, Germany, Spain and Belgium.

The aim of the project is to develop a platform and smartphone application that will enable more effective information transfer between citizens, scientists, and the political and economic realms on pandemic crises.

The app will analyze social awareness and the acceptability of scientific recommendations.

Legal and ethical frameworks in countries as well as decisions taken in politics amid the COVID-19 crisis will also be examined.

Different case studies on participation in information exchange and trust between science and society and social volunteering amid the pandemic will also be carried out.

Lutz Peschke, assistant professor at Bilkent University and the coordinator of the project, told Anadolu Agency there was fake news in the media and no harmony between the content during the pandemic.

Underlining that every country takes measures against the pandemic, Peschke said European countries also use mobile apps like Turkey’s contact tracing app Hayat Eve Sigar (Life Fits Into Home) but there is no link between them.

He stressed that they want to establish a connection between mobile apps in all European countries.

“Let’s create such a system and application so that people use it effectively and voluntarily. People should never have doubts in their minds,” he said.

Highlighting the importance of protecting personal data while using the app, he said COVID-19 mobile apps are not preferred by many people in Europe and the reasons should be investigated.

“Our study will continue in theoretical terms for about six months. We will consider different examples in different countries within the framework of academic research,” he said, adding they aim to present the final version of the app after 24 months.

As it is funded by the European Commission, the project will primarily take place in Europe and Turkey, he said, adding they will launch a pilot scheme in Turkey and open it up to the world.

Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara will follow up the studies regarding the legal regulations of the project.

The opening meeting of the project, which began Thursday and will conclude today, is being attended by Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Minister Omer Fatih Sayan, Bilkent University Rector Abdullah Atalar, and Hasan Mandal, the head of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), as well as senior officials from the European Commission.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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