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CoCo – Corona Contact Communication

DTLab Challenge with Leitwert GmbH


For this challenge, Bachelor and Master students from HM and TAMK (Tampere) worked together with Leitwert GmbH. Leitwert GmbH developed QRONITON, an IT service that simplifies the registration process at institutions such as universities and therefore also the contact tracing of people infected by the coronavirus.


Contact persons of people infected by the coronavirus need be identified and notified quickly. This mostly paper-based process of contact registration is costly for public institutions and health authorities alike and raises concerns about the protection of personal data. That is why the Leitwert GmbH proposed the following questions that the students were expected to answer during the challenge:

  • How does the process from the first symptoms of a user's illness and subsequent virus test, through notification of the responsible health authority, to informing the contact persons, work?
  • Which processes are necessary? Where do the institutions have special responsibilities?
  • How could an authorized publication of contact lists be implemented and reliably logged?
  • How could events of infection be distributed accordingly to authority responsibilities in a data-efficient manner while maintaining the ability of individual responsible persons to act in urgent cases?


At first, the problem was defined using a clearly identified problem statement:

“How can we make the process of tracing down and calling contact persons in case of an infection with the coronavirus more efficient?”

The goal then was to develop and implement an innovative solution that would solve the main problem. To achieve this, the students used the CIL approach by applying a combination of Design Thinking, Amazon's innovation method "Working Backwards" and Scrum.

The solution that the students proposed was CoCo, a new contact communication technology and software that should send out automated notifications to people that got in contact with a positive corona case. The app speeds up the tracing process and raises efficiency whilst ensuring data protection. To clarify the lines of communication and responsibility, the students established and mapped the contact tracing process. The process map served as a basis to set up the CoCo software. CoCo could support the work of health agencies by automating the notification process. This would result in freed capacities, which could then be used for more urgent and severe cases or for people without electronic devices.

To visualize the customer problem and how Coco could help health agencies, a storyboard was drawn up.

The core task of the CoCo software is the notification of infected persons and their contacts via text message. With only one click, the contact tracer can send out all relevant instructions to the infected person, as well as to its contact persons. In addition to helpful information, this text message also contains an automated questionnaire that determines the risk status of the contact persons without time-consuming individual evaluation. After a subsequent classification into risk categories, the contact persons receive instructions tailored to their respective category. This does not only enable health authorities to fulfill their documentation obligations more precisely, but also simplifies and accelerates the identification of infected persons and, in particular, the notification of contact persons.

The data import can happen from various sources, such as Excel files or QRONITON, so that health agencies can immediately start using the CoCo applications, regardless of how they organized themselves before. Furthermore, CoCo offers a KPI dashboard, to give an overlook over all relevant figures with appealing and easy-to-understand visualizations.

Innovation in Action

The software is available as a fully-functioning prototype and easy to set up. Once CoCo has been implemented, employees just need to open the software, log-in and they are ready to go.

The user then sees an overview dashboard of relevant KPIs. There, total and tracked cases as well as open and overdue cases will be displayed in user-friendly visualized charts. If a person is registered with a coronavirus infection, he or she is called an index case and the information is entered into the system. Later the index cases can be tracked according to their status: Open, ongoing and completed. In addition, the questionnaire response rates can be followed up in graphical visualization. To follow up the contact persons of an index case, the relevant contacts of each case are displayed correspondingly. The notification is sent out by simply clicking the button “notify”. Once the contact person clicks on the provided link, the health agency gets a verification that the information has been received by the contact person. If the link is not read within 24 hours, a reminder will be sent out via text message. The questionnaire that the contact persons have to fill out evaluates their risk situation. Here, a classification into CP1 and CP2 cases takes place. The classification depends on the intensity of the contact to an index person. According to the risk status, different measures need to be taken. Therefore, after the evaluation of the questionnaire and the determination of the status is fulfilled, respective guidelines will be sent to the contact person, outlining the next steps to take to stay safe.

Right now, the notification system only functions with smartphones, using text messages as notifications. People without smartphone can still be contacted well though, since with this app more staff can focus on these specific cases.

Next Steps

Since the topic of the challenge was very relevant and the implementation of the solution urgent, next steps were defined. The Leitwert GmbH already took onto building parts of the software and further development is planned for the upcoming months. Moreover, some future features are planned. These include for example extending the software to an automated notification system for non-smartphone users or automating the risk-analysis by categorizing contact persons into CP1 or CP2 directly in the system.

Regarding the implementation of the CoCo software at health agencies, further components like guidelines and implementation materials would be needed. To ensure a smooth adaption to CoCo, the student team developed a concrete implementation plan for health agencies. It is planned that the student team will continue working together with the client to support the roll-out of the software across German health agencies step-by-step.

About the Co-Innovation Lab

This challenge was carried out as a joint project between the DTLab and the Co-Innovation Lab of the Munich University of Applied Sciences. The Co-Innovation Lab is a comprehensive concept for innovation projects between students and companies. Temporary innovation partnerships - in the form of projects - are created between companies, students and lecturers. Initiated by Prof. Holger Günzel and Prof. Lars Brehm (both Munich University of Applied Sciences), more than 25 innovation projects are currently carried out each year, often on an interdisciplinary basis. The Co-Innovation Lab is structured as an open community. Interested lecturers can use the concept of the Co-Innovation Lab in their courses and are welcome to actively participate in its further development.

Department: 10 - Business Administration

Lecturer: Prof. Lars Brehm, Prof. Holger Günzel

Challenge giver: Leitwert GmbH

Date: 6.4.2021

Supporting Documents

During the three-month long challenge, the CoCo team created a list of documents that will support the client with the continuation of the project. These include:

More documents can be found on Github.