Build / Mobile development
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Digitaal Vlaanderen

Digitaal Vlaanderen is an organization under the Flemish government that is responsible for the digital future of Flanders. They are the driving power towards digital transformation across different local and Flemish governmental organizations. Their main goal is to provide an efficient digital service for all people, companies, and organizations.

The issue

The Flemish government is, like a lot of other organizations, in full digital transformation. For some of their digitalization projects, they work together with Cronos Public Services. CPS knocked on our door to help the government with the development of the CovidSafeBE, CovidScanBE, and the GovApp. These digital solutions needed to be clean, simple, and easy to use, accessible to all citizens.

What we did

Together with Digitaal Vlaanderen, we created CovidSafeBE, CovidScanBE, and later on also, the GovApp. CovidSafe BE is for all citizens to use when they want to attend an event, travel by plane, go to a restaurant, or any other situation where a CovidSafeTicket is required. This application provides proof of their vaccination, a negative PCR, or antigen test result. It contains a link to the Passenger Locator Form and an information hub for all governmental Covid guidelines. The CovidScanBE app is the one for the party that needs to be able to scan the QR in the CovidSafeBE app. After the successful launch of both apps, we were also trusted with the development of the GovApp. This app is used by the government to send messages, instead of SMS messages, to citizens. For example, when they need to get a PCR test.

CovidSafeBE: From scratch to 10+ M installs

“When we first started this project, we were excited to get started. A project with that much impact doesn't come along every day.” Hannes Van den Berghe, project manager at icapps. “The project landed with us in April 2021. We had the chance to put together a team of 3 developers and 1 designer to work on the Front end of the application, joining forces with the team of experts at Digitaal Vlaanderen.” 

Through close collaboration and open- and daily- communication, we were able to create an MVP in only 3 weeks’ time. By now, we’re already working on the project for more than a year, with numerous iterations and improvements finished. The CovidSafeBE app has already been installed on more than 10 million Belgian smartphones, the CovidScanBE app has been downloaded over 1,5 million times.


I couldn't be more proud of the flexibility and involvement of our team. Without them it would never have been possible to realize this project in such a short period of time.

Hannes Van den Berghe Project manager at icapps

Safe and secure

We not only built the projects but were also involved in the strategic part. Our CTO, Jeroen Trappers, executed a technical analysis to ensure the safety and security of the digital product. Together with some stakeholders in the Belgian and European governments, we were part of important decisions about the requirements and features of this application. 

Since this app contains personal information and data, although this information is limited to the bare minimum GDPR guidelines must be respected at all times. That is why we performed regular checks and screenings to make sure no data was stored in the application. We also provided Digitaal Vlaanderen with a clear overview of what information is stored in the application and what is not. We perform daily and weekly updates to improve the security of the application. Not only do we build state-of-the-art applications, but we also ensure state-of-the-art security for all data.

Persistence wins

When building an application with different teams, communication is crucial. We must say that it was a pleasure to work with the team from Digitaal Vlaanderen. We were both on the same level, we both wanted to make it a success, and we felt a huge commitment from both sides. We set up daily virtual meetings to discuss possible obstacles, look for solutions together, and to discuss each other's progress to make sure everything was aligned and on track.

To ensure the application was up and running at all times, we invested a lot in the quality and setup of the architecture of the app. We implemented a remote configuration and multiple implementation methods for several features. This was crucial to be prepared for - and easily solve - fallback scenarios.  


With a tight deadline for creating the MVP, we couldn't wait for the native implementations to be developed by the EU. So we were lucky enough to rely on Flutter to write our own packages. It gave us a huge leap forward in this project.

William Verhaeghe Flutter developer at icapps

Accessible for all, thanks to Flutter

Since the applications are made for a large audience and must be accessible to all Belgian citizens, it had to be of top quality at all levels. Also in terms of accessibility. We wanted to create an application that is easy to manage, even for people with disabilities. Thanks to Flutter, we were able to create several features to take the accessibility to the next level. For example; labels in the application are pronounced in everyday language instead, which makes a huge difference to the comfort of people with visual impairments. Vaccination 1/2 is not pronounced "Vaccination one slash two" but rather "Vaccination one of two". Since we built this application in Flutter, we only had to implement this once for it to work on both iOS and Android.

We had a very tight deadline to build the MVP, so we were not able to wait for certain native implementations to be made by the EU. To speed up the process, we chose to write some parts in Flutter/Dart ( for example, the Dart implementation of Cert-logic) which is now also available via the EU Github. This made it possible for us to deliver the MVP before the deadline, so we could already start implementing some nice-to-haves. Because we made these implementations ourselves, we are sure that there are no leaks in our knowledge of the application, we know every single part of the application, which is a huge bonus in terms of maintenance and further development. We can now guarantee extra security and we can fix bugs in a jiffy.


The app needed to be usable by all belgian citizens and we wanted to deliver top quality in all areas. We also wanted to create an app that is perfectly accessible for people with disabilities and I'm proud to say, we succeeded.

Koen Van Looveren Flutter developer at icapps

Breaking records

After launching the CovidSafeBE and CovidScanBE app with a tight deadline, we were sure we would also manage to build the GovApp within the anticipated time. Because we only had 3 weeks to create the MVP, we worked with a Kanban board to enter all tickets from the start. This MVP turned into the actual working app, with already over 200 000 installs. "We were lucky to use a lot of the code from the CovidSafeBE application, which made it possible to make the application go live in only 3 weeks" Koen Van Looveren, Flutter developer at icapps. 

“I was, once again, stunned by the flexibility and involvement of both our teams,” Hannes says. “We could never have made this project work without the dedication of our developers and designers. Deadlines were sharp, the pressure was high and the exposure ever higher. This is a product to be proud of, a product with an impact on our daily lives, a project that is entirely in line with icapps’ vision; to enrich daily life by using technology. Maybe that is why we’re extremely proud that we can say we were part of this.” 

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