German operator Deutsche Telekom said that its Healthcare Solutions division has developed an app, in cooperation with BS Software Development, to speed up the results of Covid-19 tests. The companies offer the app to all laboratories and patients in Germany free of charge. It is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
After a Covid-19 test is administered, a barcode is scanned on the label of the test that is sent to a laboratory. When available, the result is saved anonymously in the Telekom Healthcare Cloud, and the patient receives it in real time in the app. Patients can open the app and scan the code on the label with their smartphone or enter an ID number that is also on the label. The app can only be used if the corresponding ID number or the code is available.
Tens of thousands of tests are carried out every day nationwide in Germany, including 5,000 at the Dr. Wisplinghoff lab in Cologne, which is already using the app alongside a further 10 laboratories. The app may help to bring relief for patients, doctors and health authorities, DT said.
Amid the global coronavirus crisis, availability of testing is proving to be one of the greatest challenges. Even those who are able to be tested often have to wait for overly long period of time to receive the results. Patients and doctors alike benefit whenever communication of results can be expedited.
Deutsche Telekom is showing how a major mobile operator can help the testing process by leveraging its network and a partnership with a technology developer. By making the app available free of charge to all, DT is performing a public service that not only helps individuals but ultimately could reduce the overall incidence of Covid-19 in Germany, given that the fullest possible awareness of the extent of infection is key for the prevention of spread.
Of course, we applaud any efforts made by private companies, especially mobile operators, for the public good, most especially in this time of crisis. But we cannot help observing, at the same time, that by making this app available under its own name, DT is subtly advertising itself, its network, its ingenuity, and the very public-spiritedness that caused this initiative to be realized.