10 days to develop border screening solutions for C-19


Origo has played a key role in border screening and testing for Covid-19. Origo's experience and knowledge of the healthcare environment, software development and the interconnection of digital solutions has supported the government’s actions.

Border screening is a very extensive project which was set up in record time. The border control has been carried out at the airports in Keflavík, Reykjavík, Akureyri and Egilsstaðir, as well as at the harbour in Seyðisfjörður.

55 offices in 14 locations across the country

"It is really a great achievement to be able to put together such a large and complex project as the border screening in just 10 days. What made this possible is the broad range of Origo’s services and solutions which has enabled the company to tender for nearly all aspects of the solution, including traditional computer equipment, self-service kiosks, specialized printers and the development of software solutions. The software solutions are connected to medical records, laboratories and the healthcare website Heilsuvera, and are used by healthcare professionals, the general public, tourists, the Department of Civil Protection and others in the administration," says Björk Grétarsdóttir, project manager at Origo.

The project involved numerous parties, including the Department of Civil Protection, health clinics, doctors, police, airport operator Isavia and Origo. For this extensive project, the healthcare has 55 offices in 14 locations across Iceland. "This is not just a technically complex project, but it requires a lot of planning, as there are interdisciplinary processes involving multiple parties. And nothing must go wrong, with so much at stake," Björk says.

3 large software systems developed

Guðjón Vilhjálmsson, head of Healthcare Solutions at Origo, says the project was very extensive and the time frame very short. He says that an incredible amount of elements needed to add up in order to solve a project of this magnitude in 10 days. "In fact, three relatively large software systems had to be developed during this time that work perfectly together and are also connected to the infrastructure that already exists in the health system, at the Chief Epidemiologist and the Civil Protection."

One of the most important parts of the project according to Guðjón is to ensure the flow of information between parties such as laboratories, the Department of Civil Protection, the Chief Epidemiologist, healthcare and the Covid outpatient department, where software developed by Origo played a key role. "Each time a positive sample is detected, all responders receive information about the infection in real time, as well as all health institutions in the country that may need to treat that individual. Hardware also had to be selected and installed at all border stations across the country, the largest being Leifsstöð terminal, but in fact tourists can enter the country at all the largest domestic airports and a large number also comes to Seyðisfjörður with the Smyril Line ferry."

Sampling only takes just over a minute

Guðjón says that for the project, great emphasis was placed on the flow of tourists through sampling booths running fast and smoothly and that little time would be spent on electronic registration with sampling staff and it can be said that this has been successful. "Measurements immediately after implementation show that sampling only takes just over a minute per passenger and the time spent on electronic registration is only a small fraction of that time. Initially it was estimated that sampling would take about 2 minutes per passenger."

Guðjón adds that the challenge was great but the project’s success exceeded expectations. "It went so well that health clinics have subsequently asked that general sampling take place through this system because it is so much simpler than anything else available."

Origo's extensive expertise proved invaluable

Björk says that there was a lot of pressure on Origo’s employees as well as all those involved in the project. "We often had very little time to react to changes that came up at briefings. About 10-15 Origo employees formed a kind of core team but a total of around 50 people in the company worked on this project. We were able to utilize knowledge from all areas of the company related to e.g. network security, hosting, self-service kiosks, barcode and sticker printers. Origo's strength was very evident in this project," she says.

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