Initial real-world evidence shows effectiveness of COVID-19 contact tracing app

The study, assessing the effectiveness of the Spanish DCT app, Radar COVID, used a simulated series of COVID-19 infections in the Canary Islands to understand whether DCT apps work effectively in the real world. The researchers found that over 30% of the population downloaded and utilised the DCT app and that it was able to detect over twice the national average close-contacts per individual (6.3 per individual), than manual contract tracing alone. However, the researcher’s suggested that the app’s effectiveness is dependent on the national and local campaign to encourage people to download the DCT app.

“Overall our results were positive and show that the technology works and if accompanied by appropriate communications campaigns, it should reach the levels of adoption and compliance needed to support other non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain outbreaks.”

Dr Lucas Lacasa, Reader in Applied Mathematics at Queen Mary University of London and author of the study

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