Lancet Digital Health
Aug 2020 Volume 2 Number 8e380-e440
Applications of digital technology in COVID-19 pandemic planning and response
Sera Whitelaw, Mamas A Mamas, Eric Topol, Harriette G C Van Spall
With high transmissibility and no effective vaccine or therapy, COVID-19 is now a global pandemic. Government-coordinated efforts across the globe have focused on containment and mitigation, with varying degrees of success. Countries that have maintained low COVID-19 per-capita mortality rates appear to share strategies that include early surveillance, testing, contact tracing, and strict quarantine. The scale of coordination and data management required for effective implementation of these strategies has—in most successful countries—relied on adopting digital technology and integrating it into policy and health care. This Viewpoint provides a framework for the application of digital technologies in pandemic management and response, highlighting ways in which successful countries have adopted these technologies for pandemic planning, surveillance, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and health care.