Optimising digital contact tracing for infectious diseases

2022-05-04 Lüneburg. A new research project at Leuphana University Lüneburg is dealing with digital contact tracing for the containment of infectious diseases. The experience with COVID-19 has shown that contact tracing can make an effective contribution to pandemic control. Now the aim is to evaluate existing systems and develop proposals for their further development. Fast and smooth data exchange as well as the willingness of the population to use digital solutions are therefore at the centre of the project "Future-proof information logistics for digital contact tracing in infectious diseases" (ZIL-Kontact). The project is funded by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE).

In digital contact tracing, an entire information chain must be considered. A special role is played by sensors, which are necessary for the collection of data, its exchange and transfer. Project manager Prof. Dr. Paul Drews from the Institute of Business Informatics, together with an interdisciplinary team, wants to improve information logistics on several levels. In four sub-projects, the researchers are dealing with sensor technology, data analysis, cross-organisational data exchange and technology acceptance.

The first sub-project, led by Prof. Dr. Jens Heger, an expert in production and logistics, is developing and evaluating sensor solutions for contact recognition and tracking in healthcare facilities and production environments. Computer scientist Prof. Dr. Burkhardt Funk is leading the second sub-project. On the one hand, it deals with the different requirements that sensors have to fulfil, and on the other hand, it models the movement of people in order to optimise tracking at events and in retail.

The third sub-project, led by psychologist Prof. Dr. Dirk Lehr, deals with the acceptance of digital contact tracing of infection chains by means of wearable sensors in elderly care facilities. The fourth sub-project, led by Prof. Dr. Paul Drews, surveys the current information infrastructure and identifies possible improvements.

"With our research results, we not only want to contribute to the containment of the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also ensure better conditions for contact tracing in future outbreaks of infectious diseases," says Professor Drews, explaining the goal of the project, the results of which should be available by the end of this year.

Participating project partners include the district of Lüneburg, DANA Senioreneinrichtung GmbH as well as web-netz GmbH, Ramp 106 and Panasonic.
Project coordinator and contact person is Dr. Markus P. Zimmer from the Institute for Business Informatics at Leuphana University Lüneburg.

You can find out more about the ZIL-Kontakt project here: