Join the biggest citizen science project ever: the COVID19 symptom tracker


Over 2 million people have now downloaded the COVID19 symptom tracker that has been collecting data since March 29th. It takes 10 seconds to report daily if you have no symptoms and longer if you do have symptoms.
They show the predicted number of people with symptomatic COVID has fallen from 2 million to 582,640 in just over two weeks (01 April to 15 April).
In Wales the figures dropped by 70% from 98,025 cases to 29,157 cases. In Scotland it fell by 73% from 137,583 to 36,723 (01 April to 15 April). The data is mapped to see where there are hotspots for people with symptoms. You can look at an interactive map for your own area: the latest data shows hotspots in Boston in Lincolnshire and Corby. This is potentially useful data for local health service planning

It is the biggest citizen scientist project ever done in the world. 2.3 million people across the UK are now reporting daily, and there is rich data that they are sharing on the website as fast as they analyse it. They are churning out research on different aspects of the disease and its epidemiology and outcomes. It is generating answers to questions about what kinds of symptoms are most correlated with a positive COVID19 test, what is the course of the illness, what factors are related to outcomes. For example, they found that losing the sense of taste and smell was the symptom most strongly correlated with a positive COVID19 test, and suggest that this symptom alone should be enough for a health worker to self-isolate.
There are also several webinars and blogs. A really good wide-ranging webinar is on “how long will the lockdown last?”
They say that they have a very good relationship with the Welsh and Scottish Government and are reporting daily to all Governments. However, both Northern Ireland and Public Health England are choosing to develop their own symptom trackers. This does seem to be another foolish decision, as these new Apps will be missing the most useful baseline data and are now unlikely to recruit as many contributors.
As is was developed by the team leading the TwinsUK a scientific study of 15,000 identical and non-identical twins, which has been running for nearly three decades, information governance and data security have been well thought out. This research is led by Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of the Twins UK study. The COVID Symptom Tracker was designed by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals working in partnership with ZOE Global Ltd – a health science company.

I would encourage everyone to take part in this study. Download the App and get reporting today!