When we spun PathCheck Foundation out of MIT in February as a global collaboration to create privacy-preserving technology to contain COVID-19, we couldn’t have imagined how fast and large our effort would grow.
Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve hit a series of major new milestones as a result of the contributions of hundreds of people to the effort:
- Complete Exposure Notification Solution – The PathCheck end-to-end solution for the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) technology is now available for general release. See the demo video.
- GAEN Solution Deployments – Already, multiple jurisdictions in the US and countries around the world plan to use the PathCheck GAEN solution.
- Congressional Testimony – PathCheck Foundation Founder Ramesh Raskar testified before a US House of Representatives task force helping to advance the national policy effort to establish standards for exposure notification and digital case management. (See the testimony text and video.)
- Strong Open Source Community – PathCheck is the largest nonprofit open source effort for digital contact tracing, exposure notification, and mobile case management. More than more than 100 developers contribute to the open source projects, and the code base has been forked hundreds of times to enable innovation around the world. In addition to developers, more than 1,800 people have joined the global PathCheck volunteer community from a broad range of disciplines.
- Expanded Team of Experts – The PathCheck core team is now a group of more than 100 professionals with expertise in technology, user experience, program design, public health, operations, and consumer internet services — including a dedicated team of professional software developers.
- Broad Coalition of Partners. The broad network of solution providers, technology companies, marketing agencies, academic researchers, and public health policy experts we work continues to grow.
- Funding – In addition to the large community of volunteers and the contributors sponsored by corporate partners, we’ve raised several million dollars in funding to support our software development.
Helping Public Health Authorities Achieve Success
When it comes to exposure notification, software alone (even great open source software) is not enough. An exposure notification app needs to be integrated with a holistic public health strategy that takes into consideration a wide range of other factors including testing, communications, adoption, measurement, and case management. Moreover, these programs need to adapt to the unique needs of each community.
As a result, we’ve gone beyond software development, and assembled a team with a broad range of subject matter expertise and the capacity to assist public health authorities with both technology and other aspects of program design, roll out, and operation. Moreover, we’ve built a network of solution providers, technology vendors, and other partners that can help deliver exposure notification programs.
We also recognize that we’re not building traditional open source infrastructure technology. We’re creating a consumer service that needs to be carefully designed so it can reach the broadest range of users. We’ve organized our team to do just that in collaboration with our health authority partners.
The next several months will be an exciting time for this field. We expect to see rapid adoption of GAEN in the coming months as communities add exposure notification to the suite of strategies being deployed to stop COVID.