20th July 2020
Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) announced today that it is donating the code for the COVID Tracker app as Open Source to the not-for-profit Linux Foundation. This will enable jurisdictions worldwide to quickly build and deploy their own contact tracing apps using a wildly successful proven base. The donated app has been named COVID Green.
NearForm is honoured to be part of such an important initiative and will play a key role as part of the Technical Steering Committee in continuing to manage the development and direction of COVID Green in the Linux Foundation. We will work closely with developers, designers, public health experts, academics and public health authorities in building a vibrant, diverse community to drive the project forward.
The rapid adoption of the COVID Tracker app in Ireland exceeded all expectations. One million people installed it in the first 36 hours, and the app currently has over 1.3 million installations. That figure represents more than 30% of people in Ireland with compatible devices.
The code is also being used in the app for Gibraltar and the upcoming apps for Northern Ireland, other jurisdictions in EMEA and multiple US states. NearForm continues to enable public health authorities to get a contact tracing application into production within four weeks of project start.
By donating the source code to the new Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) project, under the Apache License 2.0, the HSE is playing an active role in helping to fight Covid-19 worldwide. Source code for the COVID Green mobile app is available now on GitHub and soon will be followed by all matching backend code.
The Linux Foundation is dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems around open source projects to accelerate technology development and industry adoption. LFPH is launching with a mission to use open source software to help public health authorities (PHAs) around the world combat Covid-19 and future epidemics. One of the roles of LFPH is to serve as a forum for collaboration between PHAs, developers, technology companies and academics to ensure the implementation and dissemination of best practices, including privacy and security.
Accelerated Solutions for Covid
As a part of delivering our first government contact tracing apps, NearForm has prepared to roll the solution out to other governments quickly and easily.
The NearForm team can get a government or state set up and launched with a best-in-class, privacy-protecting contact tracing system in approximately one month and at a fraction of the cost of other solutions.
Our aim is to take the friction out of the process of implementing this technology. We can facilitate the entire project, including app design that is focused on accessibility and support for multiple languages, integration with national test systems and, importantly, interoperability across governments to enable travel. Plus, NearForm takes care of the cloud environment to run the system with a 24×7 support team and ongoing feature development.
Being open source, the solution intentionally does not aim to lock governments into something closed and proprietary. The aim is to enable governments to use the technology, and for their own teams to be able to develop, manage and support this contact tracing app.