The German health authority released a smartwatch app on Tuesday to monitor the spread of the corona virus. The app, Corona-Datenspend, collects data such as heart rate, body temperature and sleep rhythm from volunteers to see if they show symptoms of COVID-19.

The app was developed in four weeks in collaboration with Berlin-based wearable health start-up Thryve. The use of the app is voluntary and the data is processed anonymously. To register, smartwatch and fitness tracker wearers must enter their zip code, age, gender, height, and weight.

The results of the analysis are presented in an interactive online map that shows health authorities and the general public how many infections there are per zip code.

"Having enough people with symptoms in the sample would help us draw conclusions about how infections spread and whether the measures against the virus work," said Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute, the German equivalent of the Dutch RIVM.

Not based on location data

The German health authority is moving in a different direction than other countries. Multiple countries are using or working on apps that monitor the spread of the virus using smartphone data: By transmitting Bluetooth signals, the devices can track which other phones have been nearby. With this they want to track down citizens who have had contact with a COVID-19 patient.

The Dutch government is also investigating whether telecom data from mobile phones can contribute to the fight against the corona virus. Providers KPN and VodafoneZiggo previously informed in principle that they were open to sharing this data, but the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) reported last week that telecom providers do not use their customers' data in accordance with current telecom and privacy legislation. the government may share.

See also: For example, different countries monitor the corona virus via smartphones

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