The HSE aims to have a Covid-19 phone app running by the end of May but the public will not be obliged to use it.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the app's development was being progressed with Apple and Google. He said Government approval is also needed and there would also have to be a pilot phase.
Dr Sarah Doyle, HSE public health consultant, said the app would be voluntary, anonomyous and restricted to over 16s.
She said there will be no centralised retention of data which will be phone based.
She added that there are privacy concerns adding that the target date for roll out is the end of May.
Dr Doyle added that it would operate alongside existing tracing and tracking.
The update was given at the weekly HSE Covid-19 press briefing.