Coronavirus: Germany launches a geolocation app to measure the spread of the virus

by bold-lichterman

The German Institute of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance Robert-Koch (RKI) on Tuesday launched an application to measure the spread of Covid-19 in the population, on a voluntary basis. “Digital applications are a useful addition to the measures taken to date” to combat the spread of the epidemic, RKI chairman Lothar Wieler said at a press conference. The institute has developed in recent weeks with the German firm Thryve, specializing in electronic measurements of health data, a mobile application that will work provided it is equipped with a watch or a connected bracelet and on the basis of volunteering.

There are around 10 million users of such devices in Germany and “ if we reach 100,000 or even 10,000 (users of the application), that would be great ”, added Mr Wieler. Concretely, the application (“Corona Datenspende” in German) will record vital signals emitted by the person – heart rate, sleeping behavior, activity, body temperature, etc. – and which are liable to be altered in the event of acute respiratory disease. .

The application ” does not replace tests “

These data, mixed with others, will help RKI scientists to “Draw additional conclusions on the spread of Covid-19”, explained Mr. Wieler. The RKI will publish an interactive map showing the regional distribution of those potentially infected. Data from the new application will be obtained anonymously and no location will be recorded, in accordance with European rules on respect for privacy, said Mr. Wieler.

Remains that the application ” does not replace tests “ to detect disease and ” is not an official recording tool for cases of coronavirus infection ”, he added. Germany now has 99,225 officially identified cases of coronavirus for 1,607 dead, according to the latest RKI report published on Tuesday.