Public Health Authorities (PHAs) are facing their gravest crisis in a century. LF Public Health is a nonprofit that works with PHAs and their preferred IT vendors to use open source software to combat COVID-19 and future epidemics.
Public health is not a competition
Everyone wins when we collaborate and share knowledge together. That is why we welcome involvement from all public health authorities, no matter which county, state, province, or country you come from, and whether or not you’re using LFPH technology. The current focus of LFPH is helping PHAs deploy an exposure notification app implementing the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) APIs and vaccine credentials. LFPH will then expand its scope into software support for all phases of PHA’s activities.
So much of this work is a replicable process and we want to make it easy to deploy these technologies faster. We do this through providing knowledge – the lessons learned from other teams who have come before, the data shared from epidemiologists and immunologists translated into parameters and algorithms.
What LFPH Provides PHAs
- Advising – LFPH staff members are available to do consulting calls to suggest and explain technological options for exposure notification technology
- PR – Our staff have acted as surrogates for departments of health needing experts to explain how the technology works for the media
- Community – PHA members join the LFPH community to meet and work with like-minded departments of health around the world
- Expertise – The open source software hosted by LFPH is backed by the Linux Foundation’s years of building best-in-class open source software
- Continued Learning – LFPH has partnered with ASTHO to produce a white paper with advice for PHAs on using open source for exposure notification and contact tracing. Our blog has a constant stream of material to provide more context on what is happening in the space
My choices before LFPH were McKinsey or vendor pitches. LFPH has provided something without financial skin in the game that I can use as a Public Health Authority.
– Mike Flowers, NJ Office of Innovation
Membership has brought with it a number of benefits. The breath, depth and inter-disciplinary nature of this community is impressive. I think the engagement so far has opened people’s eyes across government to the benefits of open source in particular for situations where public trust and confidence is paramount.
– Gar Mac Críosta, Health Service Executive Ireland
Case Study: Growing Exposure Notifications
LFPH has partnered with the Apple, Google, and the CDC to provide resources for jurisdictions looking to launch exposure notification tools.
- Hosting the GAEN symposium, an event bringing together over 100 technologists, epidemiologists, and public health experts
- Our Slack channel hosted the testing and troubleshooting community for the European Federated Gateway Service, the keysharing method for all of the EU.
- Over 175 technologists and public health experts collaborate daily, getting support on exposure notification, on our Slack channel.
- Measuring the impact of our exposure notification program:
We offer a number of resources for public health authorities access the resources of LFPH. A few places to get started include:
- Public Health Advisory Council: PHA members of LFPH are invited to join the Public Health Advisory Council, which meets regularly to discuss where the most urgent software needs exist. Through the council PHAs can make sure that the tools coming to market fit their needs directly and can have early access to these solutions.
- Discussion Forum: Private and public channels on Slack for public health authorities to collaborate on exposure notifications and vaccine credentials.
- Public documentation site: This website has the best public material available on Exposure Notification that we have been able to source. If you have a question and would like to see some additional material up here, we’re happy to add it. Materials on vaccine credentials will be forthcoming.
- LFPH Landscape: The landscape shows all the current exposure notification apps on the market, with links to their GitHub repositories, marketing websites, and social media accounts.
- Regular webinars: The forum hosts a monthly webinar (more often if there’s interest) on a topic that’s pertinent to the community. They’re designed to be interactive, starting with an introduction to a topic and followed by some group discussion. Notes are posted at https://github.com/lfph/events.
Like other Linux Foundation initiatives, LFPH is a membership organization that receives funding from technology and consulting companies that want to collaborate on open source development. PHAs, however, can join as no-fee associate members.