Critics say Healthy Utah app too expensive, state officials fire back

May 5, 2020, 6:51 PM

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – Critics are claiming the Healthy Utah coronavirus app is too expensive. Officials are pushing back against the critics saying the state paid far too much to develop the Healthy Utah coronavirus contact tracing app.  They’re calling it a “meaningful down payment” to protect the health and safety of people in the state.

The Deseret News reports the state entered into a $2.75 million contract with Twenty, the developers of the Healthy Utah app.  A spokesperson for the developers explains it was an initial $1.75 million contract, with an additional $1 million to further develop the app.  Plus, the state could pay $300 thousand every month in support fees for up to a million users.

Some state lawmakers, like Representative Andrew Stoddard, say that’s an “extremely high” price tag.  He tweeted a post saying, “I recognize the need during times of emergency to expedite the process and that things may be more expensive, but this seems absurd.  There was no burning need in our state for an app that asks us how we feel each day.” 

(Screenshots from the Healthy Utah app. Credit: Utah Governor’s Office)

However, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget says the money was well-spent.  Spokesman Colby Oliverson sent KSL a statement saying the coronavirus app has already made it easier for users to connect with testing when they need it, and that the app will get more useful over time.   

The statement reads, “Utah is invested in aggressively testing for COVID-19 and testing for its presence in our communities.  The state’s investment in Healthy Together is a meaningful down payment in the short-term and long-term health of our state, giving ordinary Utahns and public health workers the tools and information they need to effectively combat coronavirus.”

Since the coronavirus app was unveiled, roughly 40 thousand people have downloaded it, and a spokesperson for Twenty says over 100 thousand symptom assessments have been done in the past two weeks.  Spokesperson Meredith Kelly sent a statement saying the state will announce additional features on the app in the coming weeks, which will streamline communication between the state and public health officials.

As for the high price tag, Kelly states the company has spent tens of millions of dollars developing software that works with both Apple and Android applications.  She says Twenty has had to create technology uniquely suited to that challenge.

Today’s Top Stories


Mike Valerio, CNN

Long-lost American remains retrieved from Pacific WWII battlefield

Byrd said the average time to identify an individual is 2.5 years, but can be as quickly as two weeks.
18 hours ago
tax increase...
Mark Jackson

Tax increase in Salt Lake County for the library system

Salt Lake County Residents will see a slight tax increase. The county approved a budget for 2022-2023 the will help update the library system.
18 hours ago
The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System's new pantry opens on Wednesday, Dec. 7. (VA Salt Lake Cit...
Mark Jackson

New VA food pantry aims to curb food insecurity among veterans

A new VA food pantry is opening a a new food pantry for veterans. The pantry aims to help veterans facing food insecurity.
18 hours ago
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election day canvass launch on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 20...
The Associated Press

Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker

The Associated Press has projected Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock as the winner of the Georgia runoff election.
2 days ago
Student loan forgiveness on hold...
Samantha Herrera

Student loan forgiveness resolution on hold until 2023

Jason Iuliano, associate professor of law for the University of Utah spoke to Dave and Dujanovic about the student loan forgiveness block.
2 days ago
UDOT is seeking public comment on a proposed expansion of 1600 in Orem....
Chris Jacobs

UDOT wants public comments for proposed Orem expansion

The UDOT plan is to expand a section of 1600 North in Orem, between State Street and 1200 West to five lanes and a bike lane.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Critics say Healthy Utah app too expensive, state officials fire back