Optimising the mitigation of epidemic spreading through targeted adoption of contact tracing apps

Impact of CT strategy and adoption rate on the epidemic peak of SIR+CT in real-world networks.


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the first epidemic in human history in which digital contact-tracing has been deployed at a global scale. Tracking and quarantining all the contacts of individuals who test positive to a virus can help slowing-down an epidemic, but the impact of contact-tracing is severely limited by the generally low adoption of contact-tracing apps in the population. We derive here an analytical expression for the effectiveness of contact-tracing app installation strategies in a SIR model on a given contact graph. We propose a decentralised heuristic to improve the effectiveness of contact tracing under fixed adoption rates, which targets a set of individuals to install contact-tracing apps, and can be easily implemented. Simulations on a large number of real-world contact networks confirm that this heuristic represents a feasible alternative to the current state of the art.

Physical Review Research