Germany launches corona app
Germany has launched its corona tracing app. Known as the Corona-Warn-App, the open-source software was downloaded six million times in the first 24 hours after it became available.
The app is to help trace infection chains of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – in Germany. Unlike tracking programs that provide information in real time, this app is based on a decentralized, anonymized approach and notifies users if they have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the past.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's top authority for monitoring and controlling infectious disease, and the country's Federal government are responsible for the app's release. RKI says the new system is a key tool for supressing the pandemic because it can contribute significantly to interrupting the spread of infection.
The German software giant, SAP as well as German Telekom, plus the country's university researchers and institutes – including the Fraunhofer and Helmholtz societies, cooperated with Google and Apple in rapidly developing the system. It uses protocols known as DP-3T (Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing) and TCN. DP-3T was developed by an international team of researchers led by the Swiss technical universities EPF Lausanne and ETH-Zürich. The TCN coalition grew out of a German federal government initiative, a "hackathon" called #WirVsVirus.
The app's development demonstrates how German industry and research cooperate to make the country one of the world's most innovative in the areas of digital health and medical technology. To learn more about these dynamic sectors of the German healthcare industry, see HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY's video Digital Health in Germany and brochures that can be downloaded from the export initiative's website.