How your data will provide clues to tackle COVID-19

May 18, 2020

Research lead Dr. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of TwinsUK, discusses how your data will be used.

Who is analysing my data?

The governmental organization SAGE and teams from the NHS will be working closely with data scientists at Kings College London and infectious disease epidemiologists to truly understand which symptoms being reported are COVID-19 even if mild. They will also be working with us to understand which areas of the country need the most support including hospital space, test kits and staff.

Will it have any impact on how a vaccine would be developed? Or how treatment is deployed?

The data will be used in conjunction with existing research cohorts like TwinsUK and the UK biobank to link to their existing data and give clues as to etiology - the causes of the condition - which is the key for vaccines.

What is 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 COVID symptom tracker to study symptoms in the general population – TwinsUK will use it to understand how symptoms develop with 5000 participating twins.

What is the UK Biobank?

The UK Biobank is a biological data bank of over 500,000 UK volunteers' biological information which does not identify them. The biobank is used by approved academic researchers and scientists only and can help us understand the virus further in conjunction with the symptom data that is being shared by citizen scientists.

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