How detection ranges and usage stops impact digital contact tracing effectiveness for COVID-19

Konstantin D. Pandl, Scott Thiebes, Manuel Schmidt-Kraepelin, Ali Sunyaev

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Received date: 22nd December 2020

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the globe have adopted digital contact tracing apps. Various technologies exist to trace contacts that are potentially prone to different types of tracing errors. Here, we study the impact of different proximity detection ranges on the effectiveness and efficiency of digital contact tracing apps. Furthermore, we study a usage stop effect induced by a false positive quarantine. Our results reveal that policy makers should adjust digital contact tracing apps to the behavioral characteristics of a society. Based on this, the proximity detection range should at least cover the range of a disease spread, and be much wider in certain cases. The widely used Bluetooth Low Energy protocol may not necessarily be the most effective technology for contact tracing.

Read in full at medRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature