The app has been installed almost 40 million times and the state has spent around 67 million euros on it so far. “Spiegel” has learned that “the Federal Ministry of Health has extended its expiring contract with Deutsche Telekom and SAP, the development and operation groups, until December 31, 2022 for a further EUR 25.2 million.”
The German coronavirus alert app may not be accurate enough
When the application was presented in June 2020, the head of law firm Helge Braun praised the project and raised expectations. He spoke of “the best warning app in the world”. “Spiegel” notes that “there hasn’t been much praise since then. Experts criticized that the app was developed too slowly, that new features and meaningful fixes were introduced too late or not at all.”
The application calculates whether the contact with an infected person was dangerous depending on how long and close the contact was. From a meeting of 9 minutes or more at a distance of 1.5 meters, the app may turn red.
“As the virus has become more infectious with variants such as Delta and omicron, even shorter contacts may now suffice to transmit the virus,” writes the portal. However, “the last major update of the risk calculations is from April 2021, before the delta variant became dominant in Germany and well before the omicron appeared. Is the application still accurate enough?”
The app could find a second life after the coronavirus pandemic
The Federal Ministry of Health “has not yet deemed the update necessary. However, the issue has been considered behind the scenes. One of the reasons why it has been rejected so far is that tightening the thresholds for distance or contact duration would lead to a further significant increase in the number of This could lead to more false warnings, which in turn could destroy the trust in the application. “
“Spiegel” points out that “there are already ideas for a second life for the app after the pandemic. For example, as a new ‘federal warning app’ for disaster control where existing solutions such as Katwarn and Nina could be combined. Another idea: the app. warning could become a health application that could be used, for example, to fulfill e-prescriptions in pharmacies “.
“Telekom in particular would probably be very interested in using the application longer, as it wants to further develop its digital health business” – notes the portal. “A little additional help will not hurt. One of the key people responsible for the warning application left the Ministry of Health at the beginning of December. Head of the Digitization Department, Gottfried Ludewig, went on a childcare leave together with the change of government – he will not return. From March he will head the health department of a subsidiary Telekom – T-Systems “.
From Berlin Berenika Lemańczyk (PAP)
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