The COVID Symptom Study was created by doctors and scientists working in partnership with ZOE – a health science company.
The app will be used to study the symptoms of COVID-19 and track the spread of this virus. This research is led by Prof. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of TwinsUK.
TwinsUK is a scientific study of 15,000 identical and non-identical twins, which has been running for nearly three decades. As well as using the app to study symptoms in the general population – TwinsUK will use it to understand how symptoms develop with 5000 participating twins. Their research is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute for Health Research.
This research aims to help scientists understand COVID-19 , with the following specific aims:
A summary follows:
We take data security very seriously and enforce best practices to ensure your data is protected. This doesn't mean that there is no risk but we have taken every precaution to minimise that for you.
When we share data with researchers at partner institutions, such as Harvard University and Stanford University, it will be anonymised but as the USA has different rules on data protection they may not protect your data in the same way as, or as well as, under GDPR.
We are permitted to do this, because you consent to our doing it.
No. This is a not for profit initiative. While ZOE Global Ltd is a commercial entity, this app was built for free to support King's College London's vital coronavirus research. The app is and always will be free, and any data you provide will not be used for commercial purposes.
We will be seeking grants and donations for the app, to cover the costs of the service and so we can roll it out to the many countries who have been contacting us.
If you would like us to stop processing your personal data, you may withdraw your consent at any time by selecting 'Delete my data' from the main menu in the app or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you withdraw your consent, we will delete all personal data we hold about you.
Around 5000 twins from TwinsUK will be using the app to record their symptoms. TwinsUK provides access to one of the most extensive clinical studies in the world with the most detailed clinical and long-term health data over 25 years. Those showing signs of coronavirus infection will be sent a home testing kit - if we can source enough of them. Researchers believe studying COVID-19 within this group is clinically urgent given the current limits on testing.
Unfortunately there may not be enough testing kits even for the twins. Therefore we cannot distribute testing kits to all app users at this point in time. Like everyone we hope that testing capabilities will be much bigger very soon. In the meantime logging your symptoms will allow us to understand much better the progress of the virus in the absence of a test for every individual.
Yes. We are working with researchers around the world, and this app reflects input from many countries. We expect that the questions we ask will evolve as we learn more about the virus, and King's College London will be coordinating data sharing with researchers in the UK and other countries to try and learn as fast as possible.
We are constantly reviewing the latest research and advice from scientists in order to include all relevant symptoms. If you are experiencing a symptom that is not currently listed in the app, then we now have an additional question that allows you to share this with us. You can do this by reporting for yourself, selecting 'I'm not feeling quite right', and adding your symptoms to the 'Other symptoms' field at the bottom of the page.
Yes. You may add multiple profiles on the app and report symptoms on behalf of someone else, provided that you have their consent to do so. Please ensure that your app is updated to the latest version in order to do this.
Yes. We have included new questions about previous exposure to COVID for new users, including any symptoms that you experienced before you started reporting with the app, and when you first experienced these symptoms. Please ensure that your app is updated to the latest version in order to do this.
Sharing your symptoms with others is not currently possible. We may make this feature available in future, but as a small, not for profit team we appreciate your patience.
No one under 18 is able to use our app directly. However, as the parent or legal guardian of a child you may report on their behalf by adding them as an additional profile, provided that you follow the appropriate consent process as outlined in the app.
This is a not for profit app that was produced in a very short development time, therefore we admit there may be a bug or two. We welcome any and all feedback about our app in the relevant app store, or at email@example.com. Please bear with us as we resolve these issues.
We are aware some users have experienced issues creating an account on the app. This is a not for profit app that was produced in a short development time, therefore, there may be a few bugs. The number of users scaled from zero to over half a million within 24 hours. The good news is some of our team have built software that has scaled to hundreds of millions of users, but we still need to move fast to catch up! We recommend uninstalling and reinstalling the app and try creating an account again. If this doesn't work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are working on a better solution but this is a non-profit initiative so please bear with us.
If you uninstall and reinstall the app, you will be logged out of the app and you can try to create a new account with the correct email address. We know this isn’t a long-term solution, but it is a short-term fix that we are using for now.
Our app will send you a notification towards the end of each day if you haven't reported how you are feeling that day, provided that you have notifications enabled in your phone settings.
We hope to release to other regions in the near future, based on an open-source approach. If you are interested in supporting the app – through development skills, local language expertise, or other skills – please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Although this is not currently available, we intend to do so as soon as we have the resources. We realise that it is important for those who do not have smartphones or are otherwise unable to use a mobile-based app.
We are aware that our app fails to meet some accessibility standards and are working to resolve these issues.
This feature is now available and can be viewed on our website here.
We use your email address so that if you lose your password we can send you a new one. You can use whatever email address you wish.
We are unable today to set any particular time limit on the storage of your sensitive personal data, but we will keep it under regular review and ensure that it is not kept longer than is necessary. Data about the spread of the virus is likely to be extremely valuable for researchers studying both this virus and in understanding epidemic spread for the future. We are likely, therefore, to retain this information for much longer.
If you are experiencing trouble logging in – please select 'Forgot your password?' at the bottom of the sign in screen, enter the email address that you used to sign up for the app, and we will send you a link to reset your password. If this doesn't work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.