25 March 2020 12:32
A symptom tracker app that has been designed to identify the spread of coronavirus has been launched in the UK. The Covid Symptom Tracker asks users to fill in data including age, sex and postcode as well as questions on existing medical conditions. Read more: Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population, according to experts The app is a collaboration between researchers at King's College London, health data science company Zoe – itself a spin-out from King's – and Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals. It asks participants to take a minute a day to 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 across the UK have been recruited to trial the app, which tracks in real-time how Covid-19 progresses. King's College said it had picked twins for the study as it will enable researchers to separate the effects of genes from environmental factors. Should the participants show symptoms of coronavirus, they will be sent a kit so they can be tested for the disease. Read more: Over 170,000 join NHS volunteer force to fight coronavirus Professor Tim Spector, who is leading the project, said: "These are worrying times for everyone. "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." If you'd like to feel that you're doing more in the battle against the coronavirus than self-isolating with Animal Crossing, then it's worth checking out the new Covid-19 tracking app aimed at helping scientists track the disease.
(Image credit: Future) A word of warning: in our time with the Covid Symptom Tracker app so far, it's proved quite buggy and it was initially tricky to create an account. This may be down to the large number of initial signups – it apparently already has 200,000 users already – so the kinks will hopefully be ironed out soon with an update. It's also good to see the app join a range of other tech-based projects that have been designed to help with fight against the coronavirus, including [email protected] (which uses your spare computing horsepower to help scientists) and Google's coronavirus information hub. To download the Covid Symptom Tracker app, head to these download links for Android and iOS. UK app launched to track coronavirus and help limit its spread A new app could help scientists understand coronavirus.