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Student registration via smartphone to comply with coronavirus contact tracing measures

Bavarian State Minister for Digital Affairs, Judith Gerlach with FAU-President Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger and Gudrun Aschenbrenner, a member of the board at AKDB (Image: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Digitales)

FAU has started a project to trace chains of infection more easily

Students at FAU can use now use their smartphone to register for lectures and seminars to comply with coronavirus contact tracing measures. The University will be using a software solution called ‘darfichrein.de’ in the winter semester this year. The project has the support of the Bavarian State Minister for Digital Affairs, Judith Gerlach, who has also taken on patronage of the project.

Gerlach explained: ‘Many creative solutions have been created to deal with the problems that have arisen from the current situation with coronavirus. This is especially true of innovative digital ideas. I am very pleased that the solution that has been successfully used in restaurants and sporting events is now being used in the fight against coronavirus at Bavarian universities. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg is taking the lead with this creative approach and others are already following. This really is a smart solution for great minds.’

QR codes have been placed in FAU’s lecture theatres so students can register when they attend a lecture there. Students scan these QR codes and enter their contact details in the form that opens on the browser on their smartphones. An app is not required and they don’t need to install any special software. The provider, Darfichrein GmbH, is a joint subsidiary of the Institute for Local Authority Data Processing in Bavaria (Anstalt für Kommunale Datenverarbeitung in Bayern (AKDB)) and the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA Bayern).

FAU President, Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, said ‘We are very pleased that FAU is one of the first universities in Bavaria that is making face-to-face teaching safe and easy in the winter semester by using the ‘Darfichrein’ web application. It’s extremely important to us that we can get students, and especially first-year students, back into lecture theatres and seminar rooms as far as possible, despite coronavirus. Students benefit from face-to-face teaching, especially in the case of laboratory courses or tutorials, and really want this contact with others. The level of innovation at a university is ultimately demonstrated by its ability to quickly find and implement professional solutions to challenges like this, and I think FAU has done an excellent job in this case.’

According to Gudrun Aschenbrenner, a member of the board at AKDB, ‘Darfichrein demonstrates the agility and excellent implementation skills of AKDB.’ The project is driven by collaboration with strong partners and its consistent focus on users. Over 1.1 million check-ins at 2000 locations in a very short period of time demonstrate that smart digital solutions can make a real contribution to making life easier during this pandemic – both in private and in public. Once you enter your contact details, every registration after that is child’s play – no need for neat handwriting or complicated forms, no queues with slips of paper. The fact that we have got FAU on board and are supporting university operations in Bavariashows the potential of darfichrein.de as a solution across all sectors.’

Darfichrein.de was created during the #WirvsVirus hackathon in March 2020. The aim of this initiative was to develop digital solutions in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. Up to now, the system has been used for contact tracing in restaurants and for amateur football matches.

Metin Gönç from Occupational Safety at FAU explains that ‘FAU uses the darfichren.de application solely for the purpose of tracing the chain of infection for confirmed cases by the health authorities. The system fulfils all data protection and infection control requirements. Social distancing rules mean that face-to-face teaching can only take place in certain rooms. Users scan a QR code that has been attached to a free seat and enter their data in the form that opens in the browser on their smartphone. The contact details entered by users are encrypted, stored in AKDB’s computing centre and automatically deleted after the end of the storage period. A so-called ‘check-in ticket’ is created when the user has completed all the fields in the form, entered a PIN and clicked on ‘check in’. The check-in ticket confirms that the check-in procedure has been completed successfully.

More information about collecting contact information at FAU is available on our coronavirus websites.

Further information:

Metin Gönç

Metin.goenc@fau.de

Addition information