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The Public Health Service (ÖGD) in Germany plays a key role in successfully combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The tracking of contact persons in particular is very time-consuming and resource-intensive and is a maximum challenge for the health authorities in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) initiated measures at an early stage to relieve the local health authorities. In addition to personal support for employees, integrated software applications that simplify processes are also intended to support the health authorities. This is intended to digitize the reporting and information channels.

The case and contact person management supports the employees in the health services in the quick and efficient identification of potential corona infected people and their environment. The aim is to break chains of infection. By using digital offers, citizens also make a valuable contribution to supporting the health service in containing and fighting the pandemic.

The following measures are intended to accelerate the reporting process and make it nationwide uniform and secure in terms of data protection law:


German electronic reporting and information system for infection protection

The German Electronic Reporting and Information System for Infection Protection (DEMIS) is being developed by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), gematik and Fraunhofer FOKUS with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG). It represents a further development of the existing reporting system for infectious diseases according to the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). The aim here is to enable nationwide, secure and fast electronic reporting and information processing with regard to positive SARS-CoV2 pathogen detection. In this way, the effort for the reporting laboratories and the responsible health authorities and state authorities is to be reduced, and infection events that occur are to be contained by the possibility of introducing targeted infection protection measures more quickly. The transmission of the data from the reporting laboratories to DEMIS and to the health authorities is encrypted and based on assigned legally defined access rights. The RKI is planning further expansion stages of the existing system for this year.

Further information on DEMIS can be found directly on the RKI website.


Digital symptom diary

The contact person management (KPM) by the health authorities in Germany is one of the central pillars in the successful fight against pandemics. This also includes the care and administration of the affected contact persons through daily inquiries about their state of health. This step has so far been extremely labor-intensive and resource-intensive. The digital symptom diary makes this step a lot easier for the health authorities.

It enables fast, digital and secure communication with contact persons regarding their state of health who are in quarantine due to a suspected COVID-19 case. The digital symptom diary makes daily telephone inquiries about the state of health by the health authorities obsolete in the majority of cases. Affected contact persons automatically receive a link via email or SMS every day, which leads them to an online questionnaire to document their state of health. This can be completed online by the affected contact person and then digitally sent back to the health department. The allocation and recording of the data in the relevant symptom diary takes place automatically, so that the daily involvement of the health authorities in the query is not necessary.

The digital symptom diary was created in close coordination between the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the developer Climedo - and with the involvement of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the federal commissioner for the Data protection and freedom of information (BfDI) and the Academy for Public Health - developed.

additional Information can be found directly on the Climedo website



Development of an integrated and networked contact person management for COVID-19 for the public health service in Germany

The SORMAS @ DEMIS project, headed by the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) and with the active participation of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), is intended to initiate an integrated application that the health authorities in contact person management (KPM) can use quickly and efficient identification of contact chains is supported and relieved.

The local application SORMAS (Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System), developed by the HZI, is to be integrated into the existing reporting system, e.g. via the development of an interface to SurvNet @ RKI. With the hosting of the SORMAS applications of the health authorities by ITZBund, a nationwide, networked and secure solution is created to meet the above-mentioned goal. The digital symptom diary from Climedo Health GmbH will also be integrated as part of the project. The result is a solution in which the individual functionalities of the respective applications are fully mapped and can be safely used.

additional Information can be found directly in the project profile for SORMAS @ DEMIS.