Momentum is building for COVID-19 exposure notification as health authorities realize the benefits of having technology that’s easy and inexpensive to deploy.

On October 1st, New York and New Jersey both launched exposure notification apps, joining a regional COVID Alert app network with Pennsylvania and Delaware. 

California is testing Exposure Notification Express on the other coast, and a dozen other states have either launched or have announced planned pilots for the technology.

With the big states on board and regional networks forming, we see a tipping point for exposure notification, bringing it to the center of the fight against the virus.

Open Source Drives Faster Rollouts

All four apps in the COVID Alert network are based on open-source software developed by NearForm and hosted by the Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) as COVID Green. It is also the same open source code underpinning Ireland’s app, which was one of the first to go live and has seen rapid uptake.

California is testing Exposure Notification Express, which enables public health authorities to launch products faster without having to build out a full app or engage a development team. 

While open source offerings like COVID Green and COVID Shield, which is also hosted by LFPH, allow for more customizable solutions, the apps and the Express option are both excellent and affordable choices for any public health authority looking to enable Exposure Notification.

We support every such effort to get these tools into the hands of the general population as the virus continues to limit our economic and social freedom. Exposure Notification will be more successful the more widely it’s used, and as research shows, even getting just 15% adoption will save many lives.

Enabling Speed, Reliability

Open source enables rapid development of high-quality technology because organizations can harness code from others so applications don’t have to start from scratch. 

LFPH was founded expressly to help make it easier for public health authorities (PHAs)—who are racing against time—to deploy exposure notification apps and other public health technologies. When a PHA is looking for software to implement, same as when searching for a vendor, they want to make sure that the code they use is good, reliable, and that it will be maintained over time.

Helping PHAs Act with Confidence

As part of the Linux Foundation, the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, LFPH stands ready to help PHAs work with these new technologies and  have the confidence that they’re making the right decision with their apps. 

As a non-profit, we are well positioned to partner with PHAs to help them identify their needs, choices, solutions, and how to not only launch an app—but to get that app adopted. We’ve seen how open source software has transformed dozens of industries in the past and are proud to bring the same resources to meet the global challenge of COVID-19.