GAEN Symposium

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LF Public Health is excited to host our first event, a half-day symposium dedicated to discussing some of the hard problems around implementing Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification (GAEN) apps. We will gather online on July 16 from 11am – 2pm ET.

This interactive, free, online event will be limited to teams who are already actively developing on the GAEN framework and are looking to discuss how to make sure their app is as effective as possible given the capabilities of the API. Additionally, we will have epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and representatives from public health agencies to round out the conversations. 

Speakers and Sessions

We have selected the following topic categories for the symposium:

  • Diagnosis and authentication process
    • Handling different kinds of diagnoses, setting values for the transmission risk key, authenticating a diagnosis, and retracting/changing a diagnosis
  • Notification and user experience
    • The user experience of receiving an exposure notification, including the amount of information provided about that exposure
  • Measurements and signal attenuation
    • What should constitute a reportable exposure, including protocols for doing experiments with signal attenuation and measurement of exposure detection
  • Analytics, app accuracy, and disease progression in a community
    • Collecting analytics in a way that maintains privacy and allows us to better understand how accurate the app is, how the disease is progressing through the community, and other data important to researchers and epidemiologists
  • Roaming and federation
    • Sharing data across apps as users travel from one jurisdiction to another
  • App adoption
    • Encouraging adoption and use in our communities
  • COVID info for app builders
    • What developers need to know about how COVID-19 is transmitted and diagnosed

On each of these topics, we are looking for knowledgable speakers to present an overview and some of the key questions in the plenary session. We also welcome you to submit materials (white papers or presentations) to be made available and discussed in the breakout session on the topic. If you would like to participate in any of these roles and on any of these topics, please indicate so in your registration form or email

If you have an idea for a submission that doesn’t fit the categories above, we welcome additional suggestions. The deadline for submission to participate as a speaker or to submit proposals for materials is Wednesday, July 8th at 11:59 PM PT.


The symposium will start with a plenary session that will include brief presentations introducing each of the topics, discussing the challenging questions that need to be addressed, and touching on some of the materials submitted for breakout sessions on the topic.

After the plenary session, we will have breakout sessions. The breakout sessions will be hosted on Slack channels so that attendees can engage in discussion on the topic and materials and “attend” multiple breakout sessions that match their interests. Authors of the whitepapers and presentations on each topic will be available to discuss their work. Depending on interest, there may be a scheduled panel session for a breakout session or the group may have a video call to discuss the topic further.

Near the end of the scheduled time for the symposium, we will ask participants in each breakout session for their suggestions for most important take-aways and next-steps and ask for participants interested in helping to write up a summary of the discussions on their topic. These summaries and the papers and presentations available for public dissemination will be shared with all participants and with the general public. After the symposium, the slack will remain open for continued discussion and for collaborations to prepare public summaries or contributions for each topic.

If you need any accommodations in order to fully participate in this symposium, please let us know by emailing and we will make appropriate arrangements.

Code of Conduct and Confidentiality

This symposium will be following the Linux Foundation Events Code of Conduct. With regards to sharing information, this event will follow Chatham House Rules – in other words, no comments will be attributed to any individual speaker or participant. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our organizers.



  • Bill Pugh
  • Jolene Elizabeth
    • Head of Strategic Partnerships at Covid Watch, Jolene has more than 10 years of research experience in global health and biomedical sciences, focusing on health equity and evidence-based public health interventions. In addition to COVID-19 mitigation, her current focus is on the development of digital health tools and medical technology to prevent disease and increase access to care.  
  • Ellie Daw
    • As a researcher and consultant, Ellie’s focus is largely on security, privacy, and privacy-preserving technologies. She serves as the Interoperability Working Group Lead at the TCN Coalition, connecting teams and facilitating conversations about technical hurdles as we move toward exposure notification deployment.
  • Jenny Wanger
    • A co-founder of the TCN Coalition, Jenny built a community of teams creating exposure notification tools. She is now Head of Implementer’s Forum for LFPH, helping to bridge the gap between the teams’ shipping apps and the teams working on the source code.