Digital contact tracing technologies in epidemics (search done on 5 May 2020)

Added September 7, 2020

Citation: Anglemyer A, Moore THM, Parker L, et al. Digital contact tracing technologies in epidemics: a rapid review. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020;(8):CD013699.

What is this? Digital contact tracing is being used to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

In this rapid Cochrane review, the authors searched for studies of the effects of digital contact tracing in infectious disease outbreaks. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and searched for articles published between 1 January 2000 and 5 May 2020. They included 6 cohort studies and 6 modelling studies. They also identified one additional article which is awaiting assessment and 3 ongoing studies.

What was found: Overall, the effects of digital contact tracing in controlling infectious disease outbreaks are uncertain, and these technologies may have equity implications for at‐risk populations with poor internet access and poor access to digital technology.

At the time of this review, modelling studies provided low‐certainty evidence of a reduction in secondary cases if digital contact tracing is combined with other public health measures, such as self‐isolation.

At the time of this review, cohort studies provided very low-certainty evidence that digital contact tracing may produce more reliable counts of contacts and reduce time to complete contact tracing.


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