The Government has been berated for locking down late and failing to implement a credible 'test and trace' app, and much else, but there is one success story that few are aware of. And you may wish to join it.
The Department of Health and Social Care England yesterday announced a £2 million grant to ensure the continued operations of the Covid Symptom Study. The grant will allow the Study and its 4 million users to operate throughout the winter, continuing to detect local hotspots and study the virus.
The app is a great British success story, created not for profit by UK healthcare science company ZOE with data shared daily with researchers from King’s College London (KCL). It's the largest Covid study in the world and is one of the UK’s most innovative tools in the fight against the virus. This funding reflects the government’s ambition for the UK to be one of the best prepared countries in the world to fight the next stage of the pandemic.
The Symptom Study app has been delivering its anonymised UK data daily to the NHS and researchers via Health Data Research UK since the beginning of lockdown. The machine learning team at ZOE and KCL also provide a daily anonymised update on new cases of Covid (“incidence”) and overall cases (“prevalence”) to other health focused organisations.
This data, based on millions of daily health reports logged by committed members of the public, has become an important source of information to help catch local hotspots and understand the progress of the virus.
The technology and research team behind the app have already published 315 scientific papers identifying new symptoms and characteristics of the disease. By continuing this research, the team will play a valuable part in helping the government identify and prevent a potential future second wave.
The study remains independent of the government, and no identifiable information such as name or address will be shared without users’ explicit consent.
If you would like to supply daily data to this important project, please visit covid.joinzoe.com