Since Covid-19 pandemic is the first pandemic after the penetration of the society with smartphones, there are no sufficient experiences and understanding how to engage citizens in information and scientific processes which creates public awareness and responsibilities according to scientific needs on the one hand and on the other hand it avoids misinformation based on increasing information that is needed in times of crises. The impact of mobility of citizens can only be understood on the global level, since the amount of international travels are very high. This leads to the problem that after a short time, infection chains cannot be traced back accurately. Accordingly, measures and actions to be taken can be decided and announced only on a general level.
A big amount of activities in all systems of the quadruple helix were initiated and started within the COVID-19 crisis:
- Germany initiated a network among the university hospitals to exchange medical patient data for the improvement of diagnosis and treatment procedures. This network will be led by Charité Berlin and is financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
- A group of scientists based at the Big Data Institute at Oxford University proposed to use a contact tracing mobile app and enable the interventions to work fast, efficiently and seamlessly together.
- Several countries in Asia rely on mass surveillance which would run afoul of privacy law in many European countries. China force every citizen to use the am Alipay Health code on their cell phone which classify individuals by their health status and restrict their movements.
- Governments in European and America try to figure out how these apps could work within data privacy laws and without losing the support of an already sensitive and skeptic public.
- According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the German health ministry had drafted changes to a law called the Infection Protection Act to allow, among other things, the tracking of people who were in contact with those infected with the coronavirus (ibid.).
- The PEPP-PT (Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing) network just developed an application which considers privacy and data protection issues. But further developments and voluntarily participants are urgently needed.
These activities are mainly limited on national levels. PandeVITA will consider and evaluate these activities. With its analysis, studies and developments, PandeVITA will promote and enlarge the existing networks to a European level and will contribute to an understanding of collaborations inside the quadruple helix beyond geographical and political boarders.
PandeVITA develops a platform which
- enables citizens to gather data for scientific experts needed for accurate and efficient research to combat pandemics.
- supplies citizens with specific, accurate and effective recommendations and advices.
- generates social awareness and responsible behavior among citizen in the context of user generated content production.
- enables knowledge transfer inside of the quadruple helix on the European level.
- enables a trace back of pandemic relevant information about mobility impact and communication patterns for present and future measures and sustainable developments.
- guarantees the responsible usage and handling with personal data according to European ethical standards.
- enables the tracking of personal health data at any time according to how, where and when are the personal data accessed by science.
- motives citizen to use the applications through trust via transparency in data management.
- an innovative evaluation concept based on different feedback categories to measure social awareness and acceptability of scientific recommendations and advices.
- a concept for RRI standards which excludes the uncontrolled transfer of sensitive data provided by citizens for scientific purposes.
- the effectiveness of collaborations between science and society for a better understanding of obstacles of accurate knowledge transfer
- responsible innovation processes in the context of applications which collects personal data.
- how mobile apps will create new forms of science-based recommendations and decision processes.
- impacts of sanctions during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis on economic situations in different countries.