Mobile applications in support of contact tracing for COVID-19 - A guidance for EU EEA Member States

Technical report
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Citation Link

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Mobile applications in support of contact tracing for COVID-19 – A guidance for EU/EEA Member States, 10 June 2020. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020.

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This document is intended to facilitate the dialogue between public health authorities and app developers to ensure that the main epidemiological and operational considerations are taken into account, while also understanding the technological limitations.

Executive summary

  • Contact tracing is of particular significance as containment measures are lifted.
  • Mobile applications (apps) can help trace and alert more contacts as they do not rely on the memory of the infected case. Apps can also trace contacts unknown to the case and can notify contacts quickly and can facilitate cross-border contact tracing.
  • Mobile apps can complement but never replace regular contact tracing efforts. Not everyone will have a smartphone, in particular the elderly, and not everyone will have downloaded the tracing app. The use of mobile apps should be voluntary.
  • This document outlines several epidemiological and operational issues that public health authorities and app developers should consider.
  • Public health authorities should be involved in all stages of the selection, development, piloting, roll-out and evaluation of apps to ensure that they protect public health in the best way with due consideration to privacy and data protection.

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