A £2million grant is to be given to the ZOE Covid-19 Symptom Study app by the UK government to support its data collection.
Launched in March 2020, the ZOE app is used by participants who regularly report on their health and symptoms and whether they have tested positive for the virus or not.
Anonymised data from the app is analysed in collaboration with King’s College London researchers to help track infections across the UK, as well as identify who is most at risk and where high-risk areas are.
Granular information about symptoms across the country and identified local outbreaks will be provided regularly to government to support decision making.
The government will not have access to the base data gathered by the app, and it is separate to the NHS Test and Trace app which was launched last week for a new trial run.
Jonathan Wolf, chief executive of ZOE, said: “We are a start-up, so we are delighted that this funding guarantees the future of the study throughout the winter.
“When we started the study with Prof Tim Spector at King’s in March, we never imagined it could become so important. We have been blown away by the commitment of the British public to help fight Covid, by sharing the state of their health daily.
“The app is an amazing demonstration of the power of large scale science and the use of machine learning. We have funded the app ourselves so far, and with this funding we can continue the essential work of hotspot detection and research on the long-term risks of Covid. We are delighted that ZOE and this innovative study can play a part in keeping the UK safe.”
Disclaimer: Digital Health News is a news service run by a team of journalists and therefore cannot answer questions about the app. Please direct questions to the Covid symptom tracker website.