At the re:publica conference, Bianca Kastl, Chairwoman of the Public Health Innovation Association, demonstrated how a comprehensive data collection chain can be set up that shows a “digital real-time situation picture of the infection process”. In line with this, an expert council of the federal government has just published the paper “Pandemic preparation for autumn/winter 2022/23”, in which such a data collection chain is recommended in order to depict a “digital real-time situation picture of the infection process”.
Kastl showed how cumbersome processes caused by bad software do not lead to real digitalization, but to “degitalization”. She explained this using SORMAS, for example. Kastl referred to the principle of hope: if digital civil society accompanies the development, as happened with the Corona-Warn-App with the open letter to the Federal Chancellery and Minister of Health, there are opportunities for corrections.
However, Kastl warned against exaggerated hopes: Politicians and administrations prefer to take supposedly safe paths. The paper by the Council of Experts (PDF) can be read from this point of view: “The daily reports of pure incidence figures, which are still very present, should be gradually supplemented by a digital real-time situation picture that shows the infection and disease burden by age group and the capacities of the hospitals on city and city streets district level more differentiated.” Efforts should be made to randomly integrate socio-economic factors. Such a picture of the situation could be used for other infectious diseases beyond COVID-19 to show the burden on the health system.
Networking for health authorities
Kastl gave another positive example from its own development with IRIS connect, described as a “network kit” for health authorities that want to connect different contact tracking apps and need an open interface for this. Finally, Kastl presented the approach for a new vaccination appointment software, with which a “number” is simply drawn in virtual queues, to which a vaccination appointment belongs. The scalable software should be ready, a rollout concept is in place and lobbying organizations have said they will use it in the fall when there is a risk of a run on vaccination dates.
At the re:publica 2022 itself, masks are sometimes available, but at least on the first day, the obligation to wear masks in some rooms was handled very laxly. The Corona warning app also plays no role at the event.
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