Digital Response to Covid-19

The papers in these pages provide a narrative on how the Department of Health and Health & Social Care’s digital services supported the COVID-19 pandemic response.  


The Department works directly with the HSC through the Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland (DHCNI) partnership. DHCNI is led by the Department of Health and brought together the Health and Social Care Board’s eHealth and Care Directorate and the Public Health Agency’s Centre for Connected Health and Social Care.

Covid Digital co-ordination cell

In March 2020, as part of the wider Departmental and HSC efforts to address the impact of the pandemic, the Department’s Chief Digital Information Officer (CDIO) convened a ”Digital Co-ordination Cell” (DCC), reporting to Department of Health Gold Operations Cell to oversee the digital response to COVID-19 in Northern Ireland. The role of DCC was to co-ordinate the digital support of the DoH & HSC response to the burdens that COVID-19 would place upon the system.

View the minutes of meetings of the DCC - regular updates will continue to be provided.

Early digital interventions facilitated by the DCC

  • enabling home working for DoH & HSC staff members
  • the development of a COVID-19 web presence for healthcare advice
  • the development of a telephone helpline
  • development of a capability to carry out remote consultations

Products and services developed by DCC as the impact of the pandemic grew

  • The CovidCare App (symptom checker app providing immediate advice and links to trusted information on COVID-19).
  • StopCovidNI (an app to alert users if they have been in close contact with other users who have tested positive for COVID-19).
  • Digital Self Trace (an automated system to enhance the contact tracing process operated by the PHA telephone Contact Tracing Centre).
  • Vaccinations Management System (digital processes to help manage the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines).
  • COVID Certification Service (CCS) a multi-channel service to facilitate international travel providing, by virtue of vaccination or COVID testing, documentation meeting EU and WHO requirements.
  • Data analytics platforms such as the Covid Dashboard (digital systems to assist in the analysis of data to produce information which could help the HSC and other public bodies to respond more effectively to the spread of the virus). 

More detailed information on the development, procurement and costs of these products and services will be made available over time. They can be accessed by clicking the relevant links above.  


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