Inspiration (The Problem)

  • DATA ACCESS: To find the most effective way of fighting the pandemic and its adverse effects on society or to understand how to prevent future outbreaks, we need data. This data is to a great extent missing today. Amid a public crisis or emergency, people want to help and can do so by explicitly consenting to contributing their medical and location data. However, several issues are holding them back. Amongst other things, there is a lack of trust and transparency in the way their data may be used, and no easy way for people to contribute and control their data, through a lack of tooling. The lack of legal clarity around data sharing also needs to be overcome.
  • LACK OF RELIABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS:  The main response to combatting the spread of the coronavirus has been to use basic protective measures such as washing our hands, self-isolating if we have symptoms and avoiding contact with immune-compromised people. However, according to some sources, as many as 80% of people who have contracted COVID-19 may not know it as they are symptom free.
  • INEFFECTIVE MEASURES BY AUTHORITIES DUE TO THE LACK OF DATA: During any emergency, a society may become paralysed due to uncertainty and panic through the closing of schools, shopping malls etc. This will result in far-reaching social and economic consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself. Sub-optimal use of public resources comes from having a lack of accurate data on which to make decisions, for example, instructions on public lockdown, or testing and sanitising priorities.

What it does (The Solution)

  • A MEANS FOR CITIZENS TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR DATA WITHOUT HAVING TO COMPROMISE THEIR PRIVACY: (privacy by design). With the Data4Life Initiative we can harness the positive power of data altruism (providing your data for the public good) to take coordinated action to tackle this global challenge in a collaborative effort and to maintain this momentum beyond the crisis.
  • PROTECT OTHERS, SAVE LIVES: The Data4Life solution notifies people if they are at risk of being infected and recommends a course of action without compromising people's privacy and data subject rights according to the GDPR. With this solution we can reduce the number of asymptomatic transmitters who unknowingly (and unwittingly) are spreading the virus and thereby save lives going forward. By contributing data for the public good, we can fine-tune public health recommendations: for example, by understanding immunity levels, natural or immunised, in the local community or nationally. With citizens donating their data for science, researchers can also get a critical mass of data to prevent future pandemics
  • HELP AUTHORITIES  and GET SOCIETY BACK ON ITS FEET: With appropriate quality data, authorities can take effective measures, make informed decisions about the optimal use of public resources, for example, planning sanitation efforts, the sourcing of vaccine and staffing at elderly care facilities)

How I built it (The technical description old + new)

On the client side, it supports three kinds of users: 1) Organisation data admins 2) Citizens and 3) Developers.

All Data4Life APIs are exposed as RESTful APIs, that can be accessed via Bearer access tokens. The solution relies on a mobile phone at the beginning, an OTP-based login solution. In future admins can only login via advanced authentication (LoA3).

The platform is built on a concrete, consent-centric architecture supporting privacy by design and compliance with the GDPR. It uses Open APIs and services for this purpose.

Key aspects of the solution also include, algorithms for risk assessment calculations based on various personal data parameters, area risk ranking, historical and current location data analysis for contact tracing and personal health status assessment.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • Manage to float an open source initiative and got a core group of developers support it
  • Got a team of legal and regulatory specialists, healthcare consultants, privacy experts and technologists involved. We also got organisations working in space involved like, MyData Sweden, Aigine etc.
  • We were a close runner up in the HackTheCrisis Hackathon event in Sweden three days ago (3-6 April 2020).

What I learned

Need to sharpen the support for different data sources for historic data, improve the health status algorithm and mechanisms, improve on the identity on-boarding etc. We also need to continuously iterate on our risk ranking algorithm based on surveys etc.

What's next for Data4Life Initiative

Need backing from different data sources for validated and reliable data on hotspots so people can use the app.  With An authority as a data processor, we can easily access verified information of infected individuals. Data owners, to get access to APIs and short lead times for handling DSRs.

  • Altruism and fear of the next pandemic is not enough to get a direct benefit from contributing your data to authorities. e.g. can I go back to work and contribute to society, can I see my sick mother who is at an elderly care facility and has been infected. So we need to build additional functions like self-assessment etc.
  • Get legal backing and regulatory vetting, again use a community driven approach to improve on what we have built so far
  • Need to get a crowd-sourced view among data scientist scientist community to improve our hotspot algorithms, risk analysis etc. based on what we have built so far
  • Need to partner with various self test suppliers to include unique codes with the tests that will serve as quality control for self reporting.
  • Address the global multi stakeholder engagement gap. For evidence-based innovation (treatments, effective public health recommendations …..) we need coordination among existing public institutions on local, national and international level – data sources and data using entities and consents!

Try It out



django, flutter, github, hyperledger,, maps, privacy, python, react, restful, ssi

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