The data science and tech communities are continuing to join the fight against the spread of coronavirus with the launch of a new symptom tracking app in the UK, designed for all consumers whether they have caught the virus or not.
The Covid Symptom Tracker is a collaboration between King’s College London, health data science company Zoe, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals.
It initially collects data on users’ age, gender and postcode as well as any existing medical conditions. Every day, it then asks consumers self-report even if they are healthy.
The aim is to help researchers identify how fast the virus is spreading, the high-risk areas in the country, and who is most at risk by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions.
While the symptom tracker app is available to the general public, around 5,000 twins and their families have been recruited to trial the app, which tracks how Covid-19 progresses in real-time.
King’s College said it had picked twins for the study as it will help researchers to separate the effects of genes from environmental factors.
Professor Tim Spector, who is leading the project, said: “These are worrying times for everyone. Our twins are fantastically committed, enthusiastic health research participants who have already been studied in unprecedented detail, putting us in a unique position to provide vital answers to support the global fight against Covid-19.
“The more of the public that also use the app, the better the real-time data we will have to combat the outbreak in this country.”