“Test-Express”: testing until the doctor comes?


As of: 10/28/2021 6:02 a.m.

The “Test-Express” portal has allegedly improved its concept, now there is a supervising doctor. Research by tagesschau.de show, however, that unchecked negative corona test certificates can still be issued.

By Wulf Rohwedder, tagesschau.de

The online portal “Test-Express” has hit the headlines in the past few days. The reason was research by tagesschau.de about certifications of “professionals” without checking identity and qualifications, negative coronatest certificates without checks as to whether a test was carried out at all and how it turned out, as well as criminal investigations and a data breach.

From “service provider” to “telemedical platform”?

Markus Bönig, managing director of the CliniGo company behind the portal, then tried to convince his customers of the legality of his business model in several newsletters. But at the weekend, no new customers could be registered initially. On Sunday Bönig then announced to his customer:

Now we can use Test-Express as a telemedical platform with which it is possible for you as a specialist under the direction of a doctor to monitor or carry out rapid corona tests on people in your personal environment and to document the result. The doctor monitors the test execution with the help of the health messenger CliniGo and immediately afterwards creates a “medical” test certificate, which is sent to the person tested via the Test-Express platform. This is particularly important in Hamburg, because only medical certificates are accepted there. The CliniGo GmbH is the service provider and you are, so to speak, the extended arm of the doctor.

There were also changes on the homepage:

No matter where people want to go – after a supervised, negative corona test you certify that they are healthy. Register now for free and use the expertise you have already acquired as a corona tester.

… it was said last week. Now it says:

No matter where people want to go – you confirm with telemedical support from a doctor after a supervised, negative corona test that they are healthy. The supervising doctor creates a certificate that the person tested receives in a few minutes by email and SMS.

No doctor in sight

But what is the medical “management” or “monitoring” by means of telemedicine in “Test-Express”? A re-examination of tageschau.de shows: Nothing has changed in the procedure. It is still possible to issue a negative Corona test certificate for any person within less than a minute. Contact, guidance or supervision by a doctor? Nothing. As soon as the data has been entered, the certificate will be sent immediately to the specified mobile phone number and email address – without checking whether the test was negative or whether it took place at all.

Inquiries from tagesschau.deAs is possible, contrary to the announcement on the homepage and in the newsletter to customers, Managing Director Bönig has so far left unanswered.

After all, there is now a 24-hour waiting period for certification as a “specialist”, which was previously carried out directly after unwinding the almost twelve-minute training video.

Alleged ministry approval does not exist

With regard to the certificates issued so far, “Test-Express” refers to a letter dated May 27, 2021, according to which the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Social Affairs deliberately allowed the service provider certificates as issued by the portal. A spokesman for the ministry said, however tagesschau.dethat said order was no longer valid since October 15th.

Apart from that, the interpretation of “Test-Express” was wrong anyway, the spokesman said:

Even if a person undergoes training, this is still not a service provider according to the test prescription. A service provider must either be named as a service provider by TestV or be commissioned by the health department. In this respect, there is no legal basis for issuing so-called own or self-certificates.

Hamburg social authority contradicts

The Hamburg authority for social affairs also points out tageschau.de Bönig’s statement that the state would recognize the “medical test certificates” from “Test-Express”, as it was claimed in the newsletter to the customers: These are not in accordance with the standards required by federal and state law. “Certification can only be issued after supervision of an on-site test,” said a spokesman. According to a preliminary assessment of the facts, the “Test-Express” certificates did not meet the requirements that could be used in Hamburg, for example, for the 3G access model.

A request from tagesschau.de “Test-Express” managing director Bönig has so far left unanswered for an opinion on the statements of the authorities.

Virologist Schmidt-Chanasit sees omissions

Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, virologist at the Bernhard Nocht Institute in Hamburg, considers the “Test-Express” portal to be a concise example of how alleged loopholes in the hastily worked out laws and regulations on corona tests are exploited. “I understand that it had to be done quickly,” he said tagesschau.de. “But I believe that such problematic offers would have been prevented if the tests had included quality assurance measures and regular, independent controls at an early stage.”

The virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit would like regular, independent checks by corona test providers.

Image: imago images 103265323

This would have been easier with the existing health institutions such as pharmacies, says Schmidt-Chanasit. “The problem of an external test control, for example by means of regular round robin tests, could have been settled more easily in advance.” After all, a lot depends on the quality of the rapid tests – in addition, they would be unnecessarily discredited by dubious providers.


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