Do you want to help support doctors and scientists in the UK by contributing to a study on the symptoms of coronavirus? With the number of reported coronavirus cases continually on the rise, the COVID Symptom Tracker app will be used to study the symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads.
Designed by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, alongside Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals, those who download the app will be able to log details of their health and report any new symptoms on a daily basis.
Data collected will then be used to help scientists identify high-risk areas, track how quickly the virus is spreading, and discover who is most at risk by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions.
The creators of the app can’t stress enough that it isn’t in place to offer health advice, but instead gives users an opportunity to do a daily one-minute self-report, even if you are healthy and aren’t showing any symptoms of the virus. According to the NHS, common symptoms of coronavirus may include a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.
What is the aim of the research?
The study being conducted will ultimately support scientific research and the understanding of COVID-19, with the following specific aims:
- A better understanding of symptoms
- Understand how fast the virus is spreading in your specific area
- Identify high-risk areas in the country
- Identify who is most at risk by better understanding symptoms linked to health conditions
- Use this data to help the NHS support sick individuals in the future
Who will be using my data?
To sign up to the symptom tracker app, you must go through a process which asks you to enter basic information such as your age, postcode, and whether you have any existing medical conditions.
The app states that the data you provide is protected under GDPR, and can ‘only be used for the purpose that you consent to.’ Meaning that your data will only be used for medical science and to help the NHS. Data will be used for research purposes by King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals and data scientists at ZOE Global Ltd.
Whilst we are waiting for testing capabilities to be ramped up amid coronavirus, logging your symptoms in the meantime will help researchers to gain a much better understanding of the virus’ progress. “The more people who use the app, the better the real-time data we have to combat the crisis in this country…” states Doctor Tim Spector.
To date, there is no treatment for COVID-19, only managing the symptoms. But by using this app, you can help advance vital research on the virus. To download the COVID Symptom Tracker app, head to the following links for iOS and Android.