What is TraceTogether?
TraceTogether is a digital system that the Government of Singapore implementing to facilitate contact tracing efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. The main goal is for quick identification of persons who may have come into close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in Singapore. The system initially consists of an app, by the same name, and was later the government also make physical token mainly for the elderly and children who may not own a smartphone or those who prefer not to use the app. The system helps in identifying contacts such as strangers encountered in public one would not otherwise be able to identify or remember.
The TraceTogether App was released on 20 March 2020, while the Token was rolled out on 28 June 2020. Both the App and Token work by using Bluetooth signals to record other nearby TraceTogether devices in Singapore.
What is the technology behind TraceTogether Singapore?
BlueTrace protocol helps build the TraceTogether in Singapore, the Government Digital Services team design this at Government Technology Agency of Singapore. Mobile apps and wearables (in the future) that deploy the BlueTrace protocol are able to blend decentralize and centralize models of contact tracing.
The collection and logging of encounter/proximity data between devices that implement BlueTrace are done in a peer-to-peer, decentralized fashion, to preserve privacy. At the same time, the analysis and the provision of epidemic control guidance done centrally by a trusted public health authority committed to driving adoption. Sovereignty is respected through a federated model among a network of participating countries and public health authorities.
If there are TraceTogether App and token, do you still need both of them? No. If you are already using the TraceTogether App i.e. keeping the App open in the background and keeping Bluetooth on, you do not need the TraceTogether Token. You only need either one of them, to get notified quickly if you’ve been in close contact with a COVID-19 case.
Both the App and the Token use privacy-preserving Bluetooth exchanges, to record encounters with other TraceTogether devices around it. Such proximity records help contact tracers establish close contacts more quickly and comprehensively.
Given that the App has a user interface, it’s able to support additional features such as letting users see their SafeEntry history, letting users self-check if they had possible exposure to COVID-19, and possibly more features in the future.
Where Can You Get TraceTogether?
As said before, TraceTogether Singapore system consists of TraceTogether App and token. For the app, you can download it on the Play Store and App Store.
As for the token, you can collect the token at any community center/club. Please note that:
- All residents (including pass holders) who wish to collect a Token can do so at any Community Center/Club.
- Bring along your original ID (with barcode) to collect your Token. You may collect Tokens on behalf of your family members by producing their IDs.
- For those who have collected your Token, do note that the Token battery lasts 4-6 months. If you see a red blinking light, or when there is no light, this means the Token needs to be replaced. You can visit any Community Center/Club for a free replacement.
Why Do You Have to Use TraceTogether?
TraceTogether helps the Ministry Of Health identify people who were in close proximity with COVID-19 cases during the infectious period, while SafeEntry helps COVID-19 cases remember the places that they’ve been to so that Ministry Of Health can spot potential clusters. These two systems work together to increase the speed and accuracy of the Ministry Of Health’s contact tracing efforts.
How to get a new token
Is TraceTogether token safe?
The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said that there is “no concern” over the radiation from the TraceTogether token, as it is within the acceptable limits for short-range devices such as phones and Bluetooth headphones.
The agency said that the token has been tested by an independent laboratory. Also, the token is “well within Singapore’s regulatory limits for short-range devices” and is “safe for everyday use”. So, users don’t need to worry about the radiation that comes from the token.
A wireless Bluetooth device, like the TraceTogether token, has a relatively short transmission range of less than 10m. This contrasts with a mobile phone’s range of up to 100m. Therefore, the electromagnetic radiation level of the token is expected to be significantly lower than that of the mobile phone.
From May 17, check-ins must be performed using a TraceTogether app or token. Especially at venues that experience a “higher throughput” of visitors. These places such as malls, workplaces, and places of worship. Also where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods.
Users can use the TraceTogether Singapore app to scan the venue’s QR code, display their token for venue staff members to scan, or tap their app or token at a SafeEntry Gateway device.
Venue operators can either download the SafeEntry (Business) App to use the SafeEntry Gateway function or set up the SafeEntry Gateway Box.
Venues that are required to deploy the SafeEntry Gateway will be able to apply for free SafeEntry Gateway Boxes. More information on how venue operators can apply for the SafeEntry Gateway Box is available on the SafeEntry website.
To use the TraceTogether App or token, refer to this image.
How to integrate with temperature screening?
Venues also need to scan visitors’ temperature before entering the venue. So the venues need to be equipped with a temperature screening device. Some venues might choose to use traditional temperature checking using manned thermometer gun. But how to record the temperature of the visitors? and what if there are a lot of visitors that come every day? It becomes less effective.
HRMLabs can help with temperature checking and recording the temperature in a more efficient way. Using our system, you don’t need a staff that screen temperature of the visitors and record it. It will become faster and efficient.
HRMLabs system can do integration with both TraceTogether Singapore and SafeEntry to help the Ministry of Health trace COVID-19 cases. The visitors’ temperature will be recorded and saved on a centralized platform. From this platform, you can see the record of visitors’ temperature screening and can make a report if necessary.
Click here to know more about how HRMLabs system works with TraceTogether and SafeEntry.