KCL and NIHR launch symptom-tracking app to slow coronavirus spread

The COVID Symptom Tracker has made it to the top of the App Store’s Medical apps charts

King’s College London (KCL) and NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre have released an app that monitors the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus and tracks how it spreads across the UK.

COVID Symptom Tracker, which was launched in partnership with health science company ZOE Global, asks its users to “take 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well”.

This will help the researchers to identify high-risk areas in the UK, how fast the virus is spreading, and which individuals are most at risk due to underlying health conditions.

In the two days since it launched, the COVID Symptom Tracker has made it to the top of the App Store’s Medical apps charts overtaking the NHS App. Starting today, the app will also be available in the US.

The app is an example of healthcare’s digital transformation in an unprecedented time of crisis which has already claimed the lives of thousands, as hospitals struggle to deal with the influx of patients while also being targeted by cyber criminals.

The COVID Symptom Tracker complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but its creators state that they are planning to share the anonymised data with “researchers at partner institutions, such as Harvard University and Stanford University” in the US.

As pointed out in the app's FAQ section, the US “has different rules on data protection they may not protect your data in the same way as, or as well as, under GDPR”.

Earlier this week, the NHSX and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care were urged, in an open letter signed by tech journalists, university lecturers, and non-profit organisations, to follow steps that would guarantee that new technologies used to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the UK abide by data protection ethics.

Featured Resources

How to choose an AI vendor

Five key things to look for in an AI vendor

Download now

The UK 2020 Databerg report

Cloud adoption trends in the UK and recommendations for cloud migration

Download now

2021 state of email security report: Ransomware on the rise

Securing the enterprise in the COVID world

Download now

The impact of AWS in the UK

How AWS is powering Britain's fastest-growing companies

Download now

Recommended

CVS Health data breach leaves a billion records exposed
data protection

CVS Health data breach leaves a billion records exposed

16 Jun 2021
Researchers send “unhackable” quantum data over 370-mile optical fiber
data protection

Researchers send “unhackable” quantum data over 370-mile optical fiber

11 Jun 2021
New study shows global privacy investments increasing
data protection

New study shows global privacy investments increasing

2 Jun 2021
Misconfigured cloud services exposed 100 million Android users' data
data breaches

Misconfigured cloud services exposed 100 million Android users' data

21 May 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

16 Jun 2021
Q&A: Enabling transformation
Sponsored

Q&A: Enabling transformation

10 Jun 2021
Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app
iOS

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

10 Jun 2021