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Study Provides First Real-World Evidence of Covid-19 Contact Tracing App Effectiveness

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An illustration of digital contact tracing.

An international research collaboration involving scientists from the U.K., U.S., and Spain, has shed new light on the usefulness of digital contact tracing to control the spread of Covid-19.

Credit: smartboy10

A collaboration of U.K., U.S., and Spanish scientists revealed new insights on the use of digital contact tracing (DCT) to control Covid-19.

The team evaluated Spain's Radar Covid DCT application following a four-week experiment in the Canary Islands last summer.

Through simulated infections, the authors learned that over 30% of the populace used the mobile phone app, which could detect about 6.3 close-contacts per infected individual, nearly double the national average detected with manual contact tracing.

Queen Mary University of London's Lucas Lacasa said, "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."

However, he also said the app's privacy-preserving design "severely limits the amount of data that we could collect to accurately assess its performance."

From Queen Mary University of London (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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