Tracing App Could Be Important Component in Fighting Corona

In the fight against the spread of the corona pandemic, tracking contact with apps could be an important component for reducing the rate of transmission. It could support the work of health authorities. This is what experts from the Public Health on COVID-19 network have found out.

The experts from the Public Health on COVID-19 network, of which the University of Bremen professors Hajo Zeeb and Ansgar Gerhardus are a part, have analyzed scientific contributions on the effectiveness of contact-tracing apps from journals, texts from news magazines, and web-based content. This was done under the direction of Tina Jahnel, a scientist from the Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research at the University of Bremen.

Previous Contact Tracing Often Incomplete

The investigation into and tracing of contact persons plays an important role in the fight against the spread of the corona pandemic. Generally, staff of the public health authority take on this task. However, people who are not remembered by the infected person or who they do not know may be overseen. Additionally, there maybe a lag in time between the registration of an infection and the notification of contact persons.

New Tracing Apps Are Useful Support

This is where the new contact-tracing apps come into play: They inform users when they have come into contact with an infected person so that further measures can be initiated. Such a contact-tracing app is already being implemented in Austria, Australia, and Singapore. One is being developed for Germany and Switzerland at the moment.

“These apps can be a useful support means for the measures implemented so that the risk of a renewed increase in infection cases due to the step-by-step return to public life is kept as low as possible,” explains scientist Tina Jahnel. “But in order for them to have an effect, as many people as possible must use the apps.”

It is important that the usage is voluntary. The apps are also to be technically easy to use and data protection must be given. Citizens must also be informed of the app function and the processing of their data.

Public Health on COVID-19 Competence Network

The Public Health on COVID-19 competence network comprises 30 specialist associations from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and was founded in May 2020 in order to contribute accumulated expert knowledge. Members of the competence network are in direct contact with ministries and federal authorities. All results are immediately published on the network website.


Further Information: (in German only) (in German only)



Tina Jahnel

Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research

Phone: +49 421 218-688 08

Email: tina.jahnelprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Prof. Dr. med. Ansgar Gerhardus, M.A., MPH

Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research

Phone: +49 421 218-688 00

Email: ansgar.gerhardusprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Smartphone with Apps