BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, new digital solutions have been developed for infection control . In particular, contact tracing mobile apps provide a means for governments to manage both health and economic concerns . However, public reception of these apps is paramount to their success, and global uptake rates have been low .
OBJECTIVE: In this study, we sought to identify the characteristics of individuals or factors potentially associated with voluntary downloads of a contact tracing mobile app in Singapore .
METHODS: A cohort of 505 adults from the general community completed an online survey . As the primary outcome measure, participants were asked to indicate whether they had downloaded the contact tracing app TraceTogether introduced at the national level . The following were assessed as predictor variables: (1) participant demographics, (2) behavioral modifications on account of the pandemic, and (3) pandemic severity (the number of cases and lockdown status).
RESULTS: Within our data set, the strongest predictor of the uptake of TraceTogether was the extent to which individuals had already adjusted their lifestyles because of the pandemic (z=13.56; P <.001). Network analyses revealed that uptake was most related to the following: using hand sanitizers, avoiding public transport, and preferring outdoor over indoor venues during the pandemic . However, demographic and situational characteristics were not significantly associated with app downloads .
CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to introduce contact tracing apps could capitalize on pandemic-related behavioral adjustments among individuals . Given that a large number of individuals is required to download contact tracing apps for contact tracing to be effective, further studies are required to understand how citizens respond to contact tracing apps .
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04468581, https: //clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04468581.