The US technology group IBM has won the tender for the digital vaccination certificate in Germany. This can be read about since Monday in the European tendering portal TED. IBM receives 2.7 million euros for the development, for which the company is to supply “a vaccination certificate app, a test app and a back-end system for integration in medical practices and vaccination centers”. The proof should be able to be saved on the smartphone and supplement the yellow, analog vaccination certificate. The US group prevailed against, among other things, Deutsche Telekom, which had built the German Corona warning app together with SAP. The contract of the Federal Ministry of Health with IBM becomes officially valid after an objection period of 10 days.
The award to IBM does not come as a complete surprise, the company has already won several tenders in the German healthcare system. So he got the chance to work on the electronic patient file, he delivers the e-prescription together with the start-up E-Health-Tec from Berlin. IBM has also teamed up with a young German company for the digital proof of vaccination.
Cologne start-up provides the technology
According to SZ information, the technology for vaccination verification comes from the start-up Ubirch in Cologne. Ubirch CEO Stephan Noller said he was surprised about the contract for the consortium. “It certainly helped that we could deliver quickly,” he says.
The company has already set up its system in two districts in Germany: at the end of January in Altötting in Upper Bavaria and in mid-February in the Zollernalb district in Baden-Württemberg. In both places, with the second corona vaccination, citizens receive the company’s digital vaccination card in the form of a QR code on a plastic card. The code refers to a vaccination status that authorities and other authorized bodies should be able to query in the future. The actual vaccination certificate is stored in encrypted form on various blockchains. According to the requirements of the federal government, the vaccination status should in future also be verifiable offline.
Altötting pioneers in Upper Bavaria
The solution with QR codes on cards was not originally intended, says Ubirch boss Stephan Noller. But the Altöttingen District Administrator Erwin Schneider (CSU) wanted to give his citizens something tangible, the credit card-like IDs were an option. According to Noller, the experiments so far show that the mostly older people who have been vaccinated so far appreciate the “ID” very much. So far, the citizens have not been able to do anything with it, but it already gives many a good feeling. Following the decision of the federal government in favor of IBM and Ubirch, the ID card should soon be used in practice, for example when traveling to other European countries.
The main task of IMB and Ubirch will now be to build the apps desired by the federal government and the connection to medical practices, as well as to ensure interoperability with EU-wide solutions. The EU wants to officially adopt the European standard soon. The heads of state and government have already announced that they will allow several solutions that should be compatible with each other.