The topic on everyone’s minds at the moment – coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19. We can’t escape it – be it in the news or in our virtual catch ups with friends and family. As there are still questions on how the virus is spreading and who is most at risk, UK researchers have launched an app to help track the spread of the virus and the symptoms associated with falling ill. Developed by Kings College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, with input from health data science company ZOE, they hope that it will provide real-time data on infection rates and highlight potential outbreak hotspots. The project was put together in just five days, an incredibly impressive feat considering epidemiologists’ say this type of project would normally take five months.

The app asks participants to spend one minute each day to report on whether they feel healthy and if not, what symptoms they are experiencing. Though self-reported data is not always accurate, it’s a great example of how apps can be used for research purposes, particularly as many people with mild symptoms aren’t being seen by doctors. We think that this app is a great way for the public to do their part and help clinicians understand more about the virus – some of our team are already using it!