Strategies to increase downloads of COVID–19 exposure notification apps: A discrete choice experiment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure notification apps have been developed to assist in notifying individuals of recent exposures to SARS-CoV-2. However, in several countries, such apps have had limited uptake. We assessed whether strategies to increase downloads of exposure notification apps should emphasize improving the accuracy of the apps in recording contacts and exposures, strengthening privacy protections and/or offering financial incentives to potential users. In a discrete choice experiment with potential app users in the US, financial incentives were more than twice as important in decision-making about app downloads, than privacy protections, and app accuracy. The probability that a potential user would download an exposure notification app increased by 40% when offered a $100 reward to download (relative to a reference scenario in which the app is free). Financial incentives might help exposure notification apps reach uptake levels that improve the effectiveness of contact tracing programs and ultimately enhance efforts to control SARS-CoV-2. Rapid, pragmatic trials of financial incentives for app downloads in real-life settings are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0258945
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Contact Tracing/methods
  • Disease Notification
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications
  • SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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