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Symptom Tracker App hits 1.5 million UK users

More than one and a half million people in the UK have downloaded the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker App.

The COVID-19 Symptom Tracker App has been developed by King’s College London, together with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the National Institute of Health Research Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre and healthcare start-up ZOE Global LTD to inform crucial research into the virus.

Following a trial of the app, which recruited 5,000 twins and their families across the UK from the TwinsUK cohort study, the app is now widely available, free, for health staff and the general public.

The aim of the app is to help researchers identify:

  • how fast the virus is spreading in your area
  • high-risk areas in the country
  • who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions.

Covid 19 map kclOf those who have downloaded the app, half (49%) are 18-39 (26% of the population), with the lowest reporting group (9.5%) being aged 60+ who are most at-risk and represent 23.8% of the UK population. The team are focussed on making the experience as usable as possible by all ages, especially those classified as high risk by the NHS.

Users’ data is held securely and in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), with strict data security measures in place. The geographic activity from those logging their symptoms of COVID-19 through the app have been recorded and displayed in map-form [pictured right].

The free monitoring app was developed as a partnership between researchers at King’s College London and health data science company ZOE, which is a spin-out from King’s College London. Clinicians from St Thomas’ Hospital have also helped advise on symptoms.

Professor Tim Spector, lead study researcher and professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said:

The information you give us is essential to understand COVID-19. Large numbers of our team – from PhD students right up to Professors – are now working to analyse and disseminate the data that’s coming in daily, while the app development team at Zoe is working hard to update the app and improve functionality based on your feedback.
Don’t forget to keep logging even if you no symptoms yet, and encourage more people to use the app, particularly the elderly and those who are vulnerable. With your help we can rapidly get another million citizen scientists on board to help our health service.

If you're looking for key places to go for guidance and support at this time, take a look at our article: Getting the right information - COVID-19.