Under the patronage of the district of Berlin-Mitte and the Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce, homeDX was launched at the end of May as a pilot project for the introduction of a virtual rapid test center. The homeDX platform was developed jointly by DiagnostikNet|BB and the digital agency Giftgrün. Users film themselves performing a rapid antigen test and send the video via the application to trained personnel, who check the identity, correct performance and result. Those tested negative receive a digital certificate directly to their smartphone or tablet within minutes. In collaboration with the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité, homeDX is the only virtual testing center to integrate the BärCODE into its certificates. This code with the Proof of No Covid infrastructure serves as tamper-proof confirmation of a negative test result and supports users of homeDX in safely returning to public life.
As part of the pilot project, the certificate authorized guests to dine at participating restaurants in Berlin-Mitte while these were still closed for regular business. The aim of the pilot project was to develop a perspective for possible area-wide openings of indoor restaurants even in pandemic situations and, at the same time, to prevent mobility of people who tested positive through the home testing procedure. The project met with much positive response, and demand beyond the district and state borders is very high. Areas of application such as events with large numbers of visitors or the testing of people returning from travel are starting up. The project is now being expanded to cover the whole of Berlin and the scientific evaluation is starting. This will not only address the question of whether homeDX is a real alternative to stationary test centers, but also how high the general acceptance of such a telemedical platform is among the population. Provided that the results are positive, we in Berlin, as pioneers, have thus laid the foundation for all catering businesses and other industries to apply new concepts beyond opening and closing in pandemic situations in the future. Thus, the project is not only important for coping with the Corona pandemic, but also far beyond. The developers are already planning new applications - an antibody test to prove vaccination success is to follow the antigen test in the fall.