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CASE STUDY

Rapid functional testing for upgraded Protect Scotland COVID contact tracing App

Key results

key-facts-nhs-scotland-covid-tracker

Background

Having worked as the trusted testing partner for the NHS regarding the crucial 2020 roll-out of Scotland and Northern Ireland’s COVID-19 contact-tracing app, Expleo was selected to lead the testing for a scheduled functional upgrade to the NHS Protect Scotland mobile app. The app was designed to control the spread of Coronavirus by notifying users when they come into close contact (within two metres) of someone with COVID-19. As the app has been classed as a medical device, professional and independent testing assurance was stipulated by the Scottish Government. Irrespective of the volume of people downloading the app at any given time, the level of testing rigour needed to be water-tight due to the omnipresent threat of recurring infection waves.

The challenge

Expleo’s domain expertise and proprietary methods for testing were called upon before the release of the app upgrade, with testing required to be completed within a rigid and challenging timeframe. The majority of the Expleo team that had worked on the original round of testing in 2020 had since changed roles or moved on from the company, meaning a statement of work and a new team had to be quickly assembled in order to meet the pressing deadline. One of the most pronounced challenges concerned the testing of various mobile devices, meaning a high number of tests needed to be written and executed within a one-week period.

The solution

With a ‘Think Bold, Act Reliable’ modus operandi, the team managed to ensure all high priority testing was completed within the first week – a challenging scope of work that hinged on Expleo’s ability to quickly identify and diagnose defects that would impede core app functionality. The client was exceedingly happy with the rapid turnaround time and a subsequent week of testing was agreed upon to iron out any further granular-level kinks in the software. Even without prior experience working on the initial testing phase, Expleo’s newly assembled team of testing specialists uncovered and regression tested fixes to 4 defects before deployment – a testament to Expleo’s consistent processes and testing methodologies. The strength and depth of Expleo’s team across Ireland and the UK was leveraged to expedite the process, with team personnel from the Dublin office providing in-house expertise and guidance based on prior experience with the app. Overall, 88 tests were conducted across six mobile devices. The team honed in on critical feedback from previous users of the app, noting 7 observational defects that had undercut the app’s functionality.

The benefits

Expleo’s people, processes, and technological aptitude combined to deliver an elite-grade standard of testing and quality assurance for an essential public health app. Team onboarding was completed in under three hours, while all data preparatory activities were finalised within 24 hours – with minimal documentation and support needed from the client. Expleo also tracked and recorded test execution results in excel format, providing full client walkthrough daily. All the mission-critical testing was carried out within the first week, with the total engagement lasting two and a half weeks. The upgraded version of the app went live with no production issues, completely fulfilling the requirements of the NHS Scotland. The testing and successful upgrade helped to underscore the NHS Scotland’s robust handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, its protection of 5.2 million Scotland residents, and its compliance with the Scottish Government’s guidelines around mobile application functionality. Additional virtual testing was carried using an emulator for different android devices – illustrating Expleo’s commitment to go above and beyond the original project scope.

Expleo’s retrospective assessment of inefficiencies within the previous iteration of the app ensured that user-centricity was at the heart of the upgraded version, imbuing a sense of reliability and assurance for users. In the event of another pandemic scenario, the foundations of the app could be leveraged for future use. Following the successful upgrade, the NHS Scotland has a highly-experienced and reliable innovation partner attuned to their internal processes, and this unique relationship synergy means the NHS Scotland has the ability to react quickly in the event another app-based medical device is required to safeguard public health.

This important upgrade to the Protect Scotland App required comprehensive but rapid testing. Expleo were chosen due to their previous experience of testing contact tracing apps and their ability to quickly put a team together. Their daily walkthroughs with the developer company and NES of tests conducted were key to quick resolution of issues leading to a successful launch of the update app.

Doug Kidd, Compliance Officer, NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

Checkout Expleo's Healthcase & Life Science hub for more information on how we are supporting change in this sector.

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Expleo builds modern data analytics strategies by deploying machine learning and advanced algorithms. This empowers us to create complex predictive and governing models, both in the industry and services environments.

 
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