Results of European Commission and Team NewPipe's Healthcare Hackathon

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The European Commission (EC), represented by Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, and Team NewPipe jointly organized a hackathon to develop new healthcare solutions, as announced on our social media accounts. Driven by the slow pace at which the vaccinations are conducted for the current worldwide pandemic, the EC asked EU’s most respected open-source app developer group, Team NewPipe, to help out with digital, privacy-respecting and open-source solutions to fix the analog world problems. Of course, Team NewPipe could not say no. Therefore, we organized a hackathon in February and March to develop new ideas to improve Europe’s healthcare.

Today, after the jury, consisting of Mrs Vestager, Christian Schabesberger, @TobiGr, and presided over by @TheAssassin evaluated the submitted projects, we proudly announce the top three projects which are going to receive a six-month funding of 100,000 EUR each.

Please beware that the following text was part of this year’s April’s fools joke. Please see @TheAssassin’s reply in the comments for more details on the context of this joke.

Winning Project: PipeTrace

How about integrating exposure notifications and contact tracing into popular open-source apps? PipeTrace got you covered! Popular open-source apps, most importantly NewPipe, shall fix what the EU failed so far: provide reliable, fully open-source infrastructure that provide those functionalities. The project team wants to implement and host a backend for the entire EU on behalf of the EC. Clients for this shall be popular apps. One of the first ones to see integration is going to be NewPipe, since we can assist with this.

This project was submitted by a team around Finnish developer Sinus Torlavds. We congratulate you and are looking to the final product!

Second place: Digital Vaccine Passport (a.k.a. “smart vaccination certificate”)

The EU recently unveiled plans to introduce so-called “smart vaccination certificates”, commonly also known as “vaccine passports”. Given the term “smart”, they shall be digital documents rather than paper. The purpose is to make travelling easier by removing requirements for vaccinated or otherwise immune people to quarantine when they return, etc. They are going to be introduced due to massive lobbying in Brussels, and despite all their disadvantages promise a slightly better future until EU’s slow vaccination campaign reaches its goal.

A submission therefore caught our attention: building an open-source vaccination certificate infrastructure, using military-grade top-notch cryptography and cloud computing to roll these out as quickly as possible, ideally before summer vacation.

Congratulations to the team around Detlef Granzow. We can’t wait to see your solution!

Third place: Applause App for Healthcare Workers

Are you a healthcare worker? Do you feel like your work was respected significantly less than it should? Last year, in the spotlight brought up by the pandemic, this was recognized by the world, and healthcare workers got what they always had deserved: a few words of thanks, followed by a round of applause of people around the world on their balconies and in the streets. Seeing how much your work means is apparently a lot better than receiving appropriate wages, or hiring more people to distribute the work in a fair way, and a lot more motivating as well.

As shifts in healthcare can be pretty hard, it would be really nice to recreate the feeling of foreign people clapping just for you on demand with something you carry around anyway, right? Therefore, the second place goes to a little team around Italian developer Giovanni Aiello. They are going to develop an open-source app which is basically one big button that plays applause for you. The majority of the budget will be used to record the applause of leaders of the world, most importantly health ministers and similar people, in studios. Then, a neural network will be fed with the data. This way, every user of the app will be rewarded their own, unique, personal applause.

Congratulations to the project team. The entire healthcare industry is looking forward to solving their unfair payment problem!

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