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In the September issue
The new norm in health software
Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity”. This truth is well known in the European institutions, but it also provides an illuminating view on how health services have evolved over the last one and a half years in response to COVID-19.

The advent of social distancing meant that more digitised health services were needed, fast. One solution to help ramp up the provision of such services was the use of open source solutions, as its collaborative potential is well established. Furthermore, recalling that one of the basic principles of working in the open is “release early, release often”, the faster time-to-market of OSS is a vital characteristic that can be harnessed during a crisis.

Evidence of this contribution can be seen in OSOR’s own Digital Response to COVID-19 repository, which lists over 140 open source solutions, mostly in the field of health. Open source has made a number of innovative solutions possible, not only by providing the codebase through existing open source components, but also through collaborative development. For instance, the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health of Ireland developed the COVID Tracker application in collaboration with different public administrations and volunteers around the world, including the Linux Foundation Public Health OSS communities and several epidemiologists. Thanks to the common effort, the solution was deployed in 100 days.

The German charity Caritas built its online counselling platform on open source. This platform was crucial to enable the association to continue to provide its services remotely. The decision to use open source was taken because it enabled Caritas to develop a platform that could be used and adapted by each of their associated organisations. Similarly, the national provider of technical solutions for the German healthcare system chose to build their new communications platform on the open source solution Matrix as the protocol’s inherent interoperability enables easy federated services between many organisations.

Moving up north, both the Swedish National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI) and the Stockholm-based ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) used open source to collaboratively develop tools to tackle health threats. NGI’s Sarek supports the organisation’s activities in cancer research, while the ECDC’s epitweetr monitors increases in disease mentions on Twitter as an early warning system for public health threats.

There are many more examples on OSOR, further illustrating that open source software is ready to deliver even in the most critical field: health services.

The OSOR team

Latest News
500 digital solutions in response to the COVID-19 crisis!

After more than a year since its creation, the Digital Response to COVID-19 collection now has more than 500 listed solutions. To mark this milestone, let's look at the evolution of this unique database.

 
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Open source in a German voluntary association

The registered charity German Caritas Association switched to open source for its platform dedicated to the provision of online counselling services. In doing this, it calls for a growing involvement of other associations in the open source community.

 
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German health system adopts Matrix

Gematik, the provider of digital solutions for the German health care system has chosen the open source Matrix protocol to underpin Germany’s new instant communication platform, which will be used by over 150.000 organisations, such as general practitioner offices, hospitals, and insurance organisations. The decision follows examples such as the German armed forces and France’s government adopting Matrix as the basis for their instant communication needs.

 
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NGI Stockholm detects variants on genomes

The National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI) in Sweden has developed a pipeline to analyse genome data and sequencing. The umbrella organisation, SciLifeLab, has an open source policy. They intend to contribute to existing open source projects and develop their own to share.

 
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From 454 Wienux servers to a Smart City with FIWARE

The city of Vienna has been on an open source journey which started in the 2000s, and today, it has become a Smart City using open source software.

 
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AI FELIX assists NATO staff

AI FELIX is a modular and agile project based on open source technologies and built by NATO, with the intention of reducing workload for internal staff. In the future, it may be used by member states and embassies of the Alliance, where decisions will be based on vast amounts of information.

 
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New tool for botanical gardens in Switzerland and France

Botanical gardens located in Switzerland and France have developed an application consisting of microservices for documenting and sharing data between the institutions. Four botanical gardens currently use the solution, with an additional two currently migrating into the service.

 
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Codes for collaboration in City of Amsterdam

The City of Amsterdam has a website dedicated to open source software methods, on how to create healthy code, contribute, use and reuse the repositories.

 
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US Army Laboratory repository is still active on 7th anniversary

The forensic network analysis project Dshell is one of the 24 repositories published by DEVCOM on Github. This Army Laboratory has opened its software projects to get feedback from external partners and the open source community – as a peer review process.

 
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OSOR and Community Events

Visit the new OSOR and Community Events page, which contains information on the events organised by OSOR on the use and development of open source software, open source policies in Europe, and sustainability of open source communities in the European public sector. You can also find open source events that OSOR has participated in.

 
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Upcoming Events
Online event: From Open Software to Open Culture

On 23 September 2021 between 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. (EST), the UN Office of Information and Communication Technologies and the UN Office of the Technology Envoy and the Digital Public Goods Alliance are hosting a virtual webinar on open source software and open culture, as well as opportunities and challenges regarding how open source is supporting the United Nations’ work.

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Date
date 23/09/2021
Online event: Open Source Strategy Forum

Between 4 and 5 October 2021, the Linux Foundation will host the Open Source Strategy Forum in London (UK). This community-event is dedicated to collaboration and innovation through open source software and standards, gathering experts across financial services, technology, and open source to engage the Linux community in stimulating conversations about how to best (and safely) leverage open source software to solve industry challenges.

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date 04/10/2021 - 05/10/2021
Online event: Bboost

Between 14 and 15 October, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Open Source and the Conseil National du Logiciel Libre are co-hosting Bboost, an annual convention on free and open source software that takes place in La-Rochelle (France). This event will bring together international speakers from more than 10 countries and 50 exhibitors for more than 30 sessions on the open source ecosystem.

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date 14/10/2021 - 15/10/2021
Online event: DINAcon

On 29 October, the Digital Sustainability Research Centre at the University of Bern is organising a hybrid conference focused on digital sustainability and open source software known as DINAcon. Held in Basel (Switzerland) and virtually, this event consists of keynotes, the DINAcon Awards, and a series of one-hour workshops.

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date 29/10/2021
Online event: Matomo Camp

Between 4 and 5 November 2021, an online community event on the subject of Matomo Analytics is being organised. The Matomo Camp will consist of multiple sessions explaining how the free and open source software solution can be used to analyse the behaviour of users within an information system belonging to any type of organisation.

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Date
date 04/11/2021 - 05/11/2021
Solutions of the Month
GlobalLeaks

The web interface software allows users create a whistleblowing platform for citizens corruption or criminal offences while remaining anonymous. Developed by the non-profit association Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights.

 
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Sentilo

Open source platform for sharing of information between different systems which are part of the Smart City architecture of the city of Barcelona. Developed by the Barcelona City Council.

 
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The Citizen's Room

This solution provides citizens an online personal area to interact with civil servants through fillable forms and digital procedures such as sending and requesting documents and payments. It also includes an appointment management system. Developed in partnership with the Trentino Municipalities Consortium (ANCI Trentino).

 
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Latest Studies
Open Source Software Country Intelligence Report - Australia

The Australian government has a rich culture regarding the use of OSS, having released several policy documents on the topic. Have a look at the report for further details and to learn more about other initiatives that are taking place throughout the country.

 
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Open Source Software Country Intelligence Report - Brazil

Want to learn more about open source policies and initiatives in Brazil, including Brazil’s very own open source licence applied to all software developed by public administrations and shared on the Public Software Portal? Check out the report and factsheet for more details.

 
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Open Source Software Country Intelligence Report - Switzerland

Discover the unique way in which open source policies and initiatives are developed in Switzerland at the federal, cantonal and local level and how various actors work to foster open source collaboration between these different entities.

 
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View all studies
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