HSE donates contact tracing app to global public health project

‘Covid Green’ one of two projects selected for Linux Foundation Public Health

Ireland has donated the code for its contact tracing app to the Linux Foundation Public Health initiative as part of an attempt to suppress the coronavirus pandemic globally.

The Health Services Executive confirmed it had donated the code to the newly established foundation on Monday, as one of the first two open source projects to help fight Covid-19.

The app, which was developed by Nearform for the HSE, has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times since its launch earlier this month, and the source code has also been used to build contact tracing apps for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, along with other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the US.

Under the name Covid Green, the app will allow other countries around the world to build their own apps quickly using Irish code as a base.



"We are pleased to contribute Covid Green, the open source code behind Ireland's Covid Tracker app, to Linux Foundation Public Health," said Fran Thompson, chief information Officer of the HSE. "This app is a great demonstration of innovation within the Irish health sector combined with the IT capabilities of the Irish software industry. We're immensely proud of the work we've undertaken in partnership with NearForm in responding to the pandemic. We are looking forward to collaborating with other public health authorities around the world via Linux Foundation Public Health to assist them in quickly replicating our approach while learning from their experiences."

The Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) uses open source software to help public health authorities combat Covid-19 and future epidemics.The second project is Covid Shield, which is being deployed in Canada.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist