Corona app and video conferences - that is not yet digitization - WELT

Dhe corona pandemic has shown us how quickly we can familiarize ourselves with digital tools in order to cope with new challenges. Who would have thought that today even digital laypeoplethat a year ago at most emails or SMS would become virtuoso users of countless video conferencing systems?

But this fact also allows the conclusion that digital tools are actually used today something completely new enable and are future-oriented? Unfortunately, no.

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Fourth wave in Europe

One reason for my pessimism is that we have to deal with countless needs, working and living conditions the most diverse tools and Apps (although most of them are poorly integrated and awfully awkward to use), but they don't really help us.

Take travel as an example: Despite all the technical sophistication of many mobile applications and the supposed progress hidden in them, you are looking for the right document as long as you did in the 80s and 90s when you still carried it in your neck pouch.

Contact tracking as in early industrialization

We are also methodical in containment the pandemic Not very much progressed yet: The way we try to track contacts today comes from early industrialization, when typhoid and smallpox were rampant; Quarantine and foreclosure (new German: lockdowns) are instruments of the Middle Ages, when these measures were used to defeat the plague or to isolate lepers on islands.

Certainly we have these medieval methods digitized and thus made them much more powerful. But we haven't rethought the subject. And this despite the fact that we have the technical possibilities in the form of computer capacity, mathematical models, etc. to calculate the risk of infection for each individual person and thus determine who really needs to be tested and when.

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Widespread disease depression

By measuring the concentration of neutralizing antibodies, on the amount of which immune protection depends, billions of euros could be saved, and at the same time a deeper understanding of the pandemic and, above all, of the effectiveness of our vaccination campaigns would be achieved.

The same can be observed in many digitization projects in companies: the familiar is quickly imitated "somehow with technology": For example, forms are simply translated into intranet pages without any substantial added value - whereupon you come back the everyday being busy turns to.

The familiar is quickly imitated "somehow with technology"

In this way, I think we are wasting an incredible amount of potential and, even worse, we are losing not only our ability but also our imagination to develop innovations that really deserve the name.

We can contact you today QR codes get used to any nonsense and consider this technology and us who use it to be ultra-modern. Given that the QR code has been used as a check-in principle in Singapore and elsewhere for more than a year. It is really sad that we cannot use the Corona app, which is a model of openness and simplicity, as a basis for the digitization of other citizen services, even though almost every third German has installed the app!

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New laws and regulations

So far it has not been possible to use this app, for example, for digital administration, the digital ID card or other official matters and to really take a big leap forward with it. This is not prevented by the developers or the public - on the contrary, the media report weekly about how exemplary Estonia has almost completely digitized its administration to the delight of its citizens.

No, this is prevented by the terms of use of the internet companies on which the app depends: An app that more than 28 million citizens already have on their smartphones, which is open source and maximizes data protection, would, for example, prove to be ideal a good starting platform for digital identity, but it is not allowed to do so.

The next challenge: digital proof of whether and for how long our vaccination is still effective

Unfortunately, a lot of business applications are similar, and that has to stop if we really want to move forward. So when most of the corporate applications used - even if no one says it out loud - the lunch menu the canteen is, then you should use this everyday path (virtual and physical) for other business processes and an elegant integration of innovative processes.

But let's stick with the current COVID management and the question of how we can create real innovations here: What is the next challenge likely to be? It is very likely that we no longer only need a vaccination certificate, but soon also additional proof of whether and how long our vaccination is still effective and whether it protects against the ever new mutations and variants. The above-mentioned neutralizing antibodies in the blood give us an answer to this.

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This is where companies like Genius Pharmaceutical from Schaffhausen come on the scene, which offers exactly these tests from European production, works with health insurance companies and general practitioners and can provide the test results digitally immediately, for example in the already existing Corona warning app to represent. That would be a real step forward and we would have a better start to autumn when infectious diseases are more common.

We have to take an example from such approaches: In Germany, the heartland of engineers, optimization is still considered to be Supreme discipline. But today it is no longer enough to simply digitize what is already known and to be satisfied with mere improvements.

Act flexibly and with foresight

It is about acting flexibly and with foresight and always striving for real change. If in this way digitization in the medium-sized companies that The backbone of our economy, then one could make much better use of the groundbreaking improvements in artificial intelligence instead of increasing the efficiency of some algorithm by a ridiculous 0,5 percent.

Chris Boos (49), founder of the IT company Arago in Frankfurt and Chief Technical Officer of the Swiss cybersecurity company Wisekey, is one of Germany's best-known entrepreneurs and influential thought leaders in the field of artificial intelligence. He is an investor in the start-up scene, a member of the Federal Government's Digital Council, a staunch European and chairman of the jury for the “German AI Prize”.

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