The COVID-19 epidemic demonstrates that the first critical response to the crisis is a behavioral one. It is imperative for all to adopt a set of new behaviors during this period, including social distancing, reducing travel, and handwashing, among others. Additionally, the crisis has also revealed new detrimental behaviors (e.g. panic buying) that hamper overall crisis response. Many people show inertia to abide by the changes required, which is largely due to the need for specific customized behavioral triggers.

BeChange proposes COVIDless – a mobile platform, designed to deliver the right information to the right user at the right time. COVIDless aims to influence impactful behavior change, specifically for people who are yet to self-isolate, whether due to obligation or behavioral inertia. Based on the user profile, COVIDless provides information and nudges, to influence users to take necessary actions. The platform also reduces the risk of direct contact, for public service workers, in information dissemination.

Expected Outcome and Benefits:

COVIDless centralizes authoritative information and recommendations regarding Covid-19 to assist in disseminating (i) targeted behavioral triggers, (ii) relevant news and updates and (iii) encouraging, positive updates to prevent panic. The key beneficiaries would be any government or international agencies trying to affect behavior change in people. The platform also benefits end-users (city residents, commuters, travelers, etc.) who are slow in adopting the required behavioral changes or need specific information to make informed decisions. Ultimately, the goal is to effectively influence users, to slow down the spread of Covid-19 locally and globally. Compared to traditional information dissemination mediums COVIDless is (i) sustainable as users need to download the app once, (ii) measurable as the app tracks engagement and customizes for highest impact, (iii) safe as it nullifies the need for face-to-face contact and (iv) reusable for other behavioral nudging purposes in the future.

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