For about a month now, I’ve had the government’s official COVID Alert app installed on my phone. It is active and monitoring. Each week I get a notification cogent me I haven’t had acquaintance with anybody who tested absolute for the coronavirus.

That’s good news but it isn’t too surprising.

First of all, I work from home and barely leave the house. But I do so occasionally to get a crew and buy some groceries.

Second, even if one of the people I have had acquaintance with was infected, I would only find out if they either have the app installed or they enter their absolute result into their app.

Both of those steps lower the affairs of the app doing its job. In its first month, there were only 2.2 actor downloads and 90 infections. As we accost the second wave of COVID-19 infections, how do we change that?


I work with many entrepreneurs through the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto and we know that accepting people to download an app can be challenging. They have to know about it. They have to bethink to download it. And they have to bethink to set it up.

Invariably, what we try to do is get people who like an app to tell others to use the app too. These social referrals sometimes work on their own and in other cases, incentives are given such as a abatement on casework sold through the app.

Ironically, to animate people to download the COVID Alert app, we want to use viral processes as we’re attempting to accommodate an actual virus. And, yes, that’s a claiming because many of these app downloads are driven by people administration thoughts when they are calm — and most of us are living in about abreast at the moment.