Contact tracing applications have not been popular globally for their role in infectious disease control programs so far. However, these products have been steadily gaining interest on the back of the highly-contagious Covid-19 pandemic which has spread to all corners of the world at a rapid pace.
The scope of adoption has soared with growing recommendations by key regulatory bodies such as the WHO in controlling infectious disease outbreaks.
A research report conducted by Future Market Insights reveals essential data on the industry. The role of digital technologies in containing infectious disease is expected to witness strong growth between 2020 and 2030. Contact tracing applications are expected to benefit in the short term with governments around the world investing in their own mobile applications.
It is important to note that the success of market players in the contact tracing applications industry is highly reliant on community engagement, by application developers and public health agencies to bolster overall awareness.
Challenges in patient compliance, particularly in developing countries with poor ICT infrastructure is likely to hold back growth prospects.
Decentralization: Data Privacy Concerns Influence App Development
Earlier versions of contact tracing applications set up by public health organizations, largely relied on gathering data about factors such as contact history and user health onto central server databases.
However, with growing push back in terms of data privacy and misuse concerns, governments in Colombia, Norway, UK, and Australia have introduced decentralized applications, which limit data transmission to the user’s device.
Apple and Google have been at the forefront of this more privacy minded approach, with the development of a Bluetooth-based API to warn contacts about potential of exposure, which has resulted in widespread adoption in Europe and North America.
In addition, the extensive use of smartphones with iOS and Android platforms makes the use of such decentralized applications practically feasible in terms of pandemic management efforts.
On the other hand, the American Medical Informatics Association has noted that even decentralized applications are prone to potential data privacy threats with contact tracing devices and binary searches potentially revealing medical information.
User Trust in Contact Tracing Applications
The success of contact tracing applications has largely been reliant on the adoption rates by smartphone users. Although the Chinese government has made it mandatory for citizens to download its app, most countries rely on voluntary adoption. Consequently, trust building efforts have been crucial towards growth in adoption.
Already Germany and Ireland have disclosed details of the source code for their apps to the public. Security and privacy concerns are of high importance to app developers, with an approach towards minimal data collection being critical. With community engagement efforts, and associated public goodwill has been key to success in such projects.
- Contact tracing applications provide the benefits of a scalable contagion tracking approach reducing the burden on associated healthcare professionals
- Innovations towards short term data storage, and voluntary participation set higher standards of confidentiality
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Contact tracing applications have been gaining traction in recent months, such as government support and increased investments by tech companies. However, the sector has faced a number of obstacles largely over public perceptions and data privacy concerns.
In terms of data privacy, many countries have taken up measures for anonymization of data. However, with centralized architecture being adopted in multiple countries including China, Kuwait, and Vietnam the control over the data server is with health authorities instead of user devices.
Further, poor adoption of contact tracing applications among populations in developing countries and rural areas, owing to poor awareness levels will hold back industry prospects.
Also, the use of Bluetooth technologies has proven inaccurate in detecting the distance between user devices owing to environmental factors, which can substantially reduce the efficacy of such applications.
Further, differences in public perception of efficacy of contact tracing applications, and associated incentives can also negatively affect adoption. This is largely affected by technical performance issues such as poor device compatibility, and software bugs.
Europe Contact Tracing Application Market
Europe is widely considered to be the frontrunner in terms of contact tracing applications. Around 20 countries in the region have either launched or are developing smartphone applications, with the aim of tracking and breaking coronavirus infection chains by issuing timely warning to potential carriers.
The Google-Apple standard of contract tracing apps has been adopted in Austria, Poland, Croatia, Latvia, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Gibraltar, Switzerland, and Northern Ireland. More countries have plans to adopt this standard in the near future.
On the other hand, Hungary and France have opted for centralized apps, claiming technological sovereignty. This disruption of standardization in the region is likely to create issues for people traveling between countries in the Euro bloc.
Many countries in the region including Germany, and UK have chosen short-range Bluetooth technologies to track potential encounters with covid-19 patients. These applications are a middle-ground for complying with requirements of functionality and data privacy. Some applications have even provided an option for users to voluntarily share information to help authorities to track the spread of the ailments.
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North America Contact Tracing Application Market
Contact tracing applications potentially could play a significant part in the coronavirus response in North America. However, adoption of these apps have remained below average especially in the United States with only 8 states either having released or planning to release covid-19 contact tracing applications.
A survey from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has found that 42% of respondents in the US supported the use of contact tracing apps. Concerns and confusion over the collection of user data, in addition to misunderstandings with the varying app options available is restraining use.
The Canadian government has joined hands with Shopify and Blackberry for the development and launch of its completely voluntary contact tracing applications to manage the covid-19 outbreak. According to the WHO, Canada had crossed 100,000 cases of coronavirus in June 2020, making the launch of the applications more important.
Also, data privacy watchdogs in the country, the Federal and Ontario privacy commissioners have also supported the use of the contact tracing app. The application has already gained more than a million downloads in early August 2020.
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East Asia Contact Tracing Application Market
With the sustained threat of resurgence in cases, China had launched its contact tracing app in collaboration with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which works using QR code technologies.
The app uses a centralized database which collects information such as passport numbers, phone numbers, and detailed questionnaires about symptoms and travel history, which is then used for contact tracing and quarantine compliance. A similar app has been launched by Singapore. However, the voluntary installation of the application has resulted in limited adoption.
Japan has also launched its own contact tracing app Cocoa, which has been developed by Microsoft Corporation for iOS and Android platforms. The app is not mandatory, and works with Bluetooth technologies, and deletes data collected every 14 days.
South Korea’s digital contact tracing approach is heavily reliant on transparency, complying with the country’s Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, text messages are sent to every smartphone in case of significant developments. The country’s app is primarily used to ensure that potential patients do not violate quarantines. However, public information of covid-19 cases has resulted in the risk of social stigma, which could prove counter-productive.
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Contact tracing applications largely use Bluetooth, or GPS, technologies, or a combination of both. The demand for Bluetooth based applications has been higher than that of GPS options. This trend is unlikely to change in the near future.
Data privacy concerns is the primary factor that has made the use of Bluetooth technologies popular for limiting data transmission to user devices. GPS and combination technology approaches for connectivity have been limited to select countries with relaxed data privacy laws. However, with larger population bases in countries such as China the growth of GPS based applications are also expected to be positive in the assessment period.
The distribution of contact tracing application is largely dependent on the penetration of smartphones using either iOS or android platforms. So far, iOS phones account for approximately 20% of all smartphone sales. Android platforms account for most smartphone sales, including in key European markets with higher adoption rates of contact tracing applications.
On the other, hand Apple Inc. has revealed plans to enable covid-19 exposure notifications directly to their phones with their next update, without having to download a government contact tracing app. This measure could prove potentially beneficial for the iOS share of the contact tracing application industry in the near future.
Public health agencies worldwide have been implementing multipronged approaches in handling the massive covid-19 crisis. Digital technologies have been gaining importance in various sectors including healthcare and public information distribution.
With the aim largely focused towards pandemic monitoring and control, contact tracing application companies have been engaging in strategies to promote their offerings through government channels. In addition, players are also pushing for strategic collaborations with other market leaders to develop applications with multi-platform compatibility.
Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are dominant players in the market. The companies have collaborated to develop a joint platform – Exposure Notification Framework aimed towards Android and iOS devices, which has already been adopted by governments in multiple European countries.
The platform enables governments to deploy their own superficial applications without having to invest in core development. Apple is also planning to push the platform through an internal software update for new iOS devices, which will allow users to gain the same functionality without government apps.
SAP SE, another key player, has made its presence felt in Germany with the development of the Corona-Warn-App for the country’s federal government in collaboration with Telekom. The app is open source and is developed on the basis of the Google-Apple platform.
The company is also collaborating with T-Systems in a contract to operate and maintain the platform in term of technical aspects for data processing. However, the app is only available to users with newer versions of iOS or Android phones so far.
Siemens AG has also played its role in contact tracing application development during the coronavirus pandemic. The company has developed a manual contact testing feature for workers in China in collaboration with Salesforce.com.
The company has developed its contact tracing application to work alongside its smart office technology, which enables end users to receive real-time data, boosting social distancing compliance.
In addition to these companies, other important contact tracing market players include
- Oracle Corporation
- IBM Corporation
Contact Tracing Application Industry Report: Scope
Historical Data Available for
USD Million for value and Volume (‘000 Units)
Key Regions Covered
North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia & Pacific, and Middle East & Africa
Key Countries Covered
US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, BENELUX, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, GCC Countries, Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa
Key Segments Covered
Connectivity, Operating System, and Region
Key Companies Profiled
Oracle Corporation, Apple Inc., SAP SE, Siemens AG, ServiceNow, Salesforce.com Inc., T-Systems, Microsoft Corporation, IBM Corporation (only indicative list)
Market Forecast, brand share analysis, competition intelligence, DROT analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, Strategic Growth Initiatives
Customization & Pricing
Key Questions Answered by the Report
- What is the contact tracing application market growth rate?
The growth rate for contact tracing application market will be 15% CAGR during 2020-2030
- Which is the largest market for contact tracing Applications?
Europe is the largest market for contact tracing applications. Stronger trend of user compliance, combined with access to a wider range of contact tracing apps position Europe as a prominent market for contact tracing applications
- Which are the top companies in contact tracing application market?
Oracle Corporation, IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, SAP SE, Apple Inc., and Siemens AG are among the leading market players
- What are the uses of contact tracing applications?
Contact tracing applications are widely used in non-standard protocols for large scale digital tracing, to determine contact between infected patients and other app users.
- In which operating systems are contact tracing applications available?
Companies usually develop contact tracing applications under two operating system platforms – Android and iOS. The development and demand for Android based applications is higher.
- What is the outlook on European contact tracing application market?
The market in Europe is likely to be the largest worldwide. Strong demand for decentralized versions of contact tracing apps in Germany and U.K. to address data privacy concerns, and better patient compliance continues to drive growth.
- Is contact tracing application consumed in Asia Pacific?
Contact tracing applications are being used extensively in China and Singapore for quarantine monitoring, and contact tracing. Data privacy concerns remain important among market developments.
Enquiry before Buying
- Is this research conducted by Future Market Insights?
Yes, the contact tracing applications market research has been conducted by expert analysts of Future Market Insights through a combination of primary research and secondary research. To know more about how the research was conducted, you can speak to research analyst.
- What research methodology is followed by FMI?
FMI follows a methodology that encompasses demand side assessment of the market, and triangulates the same through supply side analysis. This methodology is based on use of standard market structure, methods and definitions.
- Who are the respondents for primary research?
FMI speaks to stakeholders across the spectrum, including C-level executives, distributors, product manufacturers, industry experts. For a full list of primary respondents, please reach out to us.
- What are the sources of secondary research?
FMI conducts extensive secondary research through proprietary databases, paid databases, and information available in the public domain. We refer to industry associations, company press releases, annual reports, investor presentations, and research papers.
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Contact Tracing Application Market Segmentation
- North America (U.S., Canada)
- Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Rest of LATAM)
- Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, BENELUX, Russia, Rest of Europe)
- East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea)
- South Asia & Pacific (India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Oceania, Rest of South Asia & Pacific)
- Middle East & Africa (GCC Countries, Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa, Rest of MEA)