In recent years, software has evolved from being static, closed source, proprietary products to being dynamic, open source, ecosystems contributing to the global good. To this end, the open source software (OSS) solution and global good, Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS), rapidly adjusted to the demands of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak by introducing a COVID-19 module. This allowed countries that were already making use of the software as part of their public health surveillance infrastructure to make use of the new module in order to respond to the pandemic. New countries in continental Europe, most notably Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and France subsequently chose to adopt the software for public health surveillance purposes for the first time during 2020, requiring additional adaptations to meet local needs. As a result, in this paper, we aim to gain a better understanding of how rapidly SORMAS was adapted to meet global needs by analyzing the SORMAS COVID-19 module introduction timeline, as well as the overall development activity of the software during 2020 and 2021 in response to the pandemic. Favorable initial feature response times in combination with development scale-up possibilities speak to some of the potential advantages of implementing global good OSS tools such as SORMAS for public health surveillance, in response to an emergency. Overall, SORMAS serves as proof of concept for developing a global good OSS solution on an international scale.
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