The Covid Symptom Study app asks participants to spend 1-minute a day filling out a health assessment, even if they are not feeling unwell. This data is being used to identify the most at-risk, how the virus spreads, and where the hardest-hit communities are.
The way people live their lives changed quickly when the Covid-19 began spreading across the globe. Suddenly, a virus we knew little about had caused a pandemic as the number of infections proliferated. The world had to take some drastic actions: Social distancing guidelines, travel restrictions, regular testing and rapid work on developing a vaccine.
More than a year after we first heard about the virus, there is still a lot we don’t know about Covid-19. Gathering as much data as possible on the spread of the virus and how it affects health has been extremely important in understanding how to treat the illness and reduce transmission.
The Covid Symptom Study app was launched in March 2020 by ZOE, a health science company. They teamed up with King’s College London for the scientific analysis of the user-submitted data. The app is available for free on iOS and Android.
Users are asked to spend one minute each day completing a questionnaire on how they are feeling. Common symptoms of the condition are present and the rarer features, users can also free text symptoms to keep track of anything new. So far, more than 4.5 million people have contributed to the study. The data is being used to identify how fast the virus is spreading in communities, where the most at-risk areas are, and understanding who is the most at-risk based on their existing health conditions. The app is an easy way for everyone to participate in ending the pandemic by providing scientists with insight into the disease and how it behaves.