Posted: Sat 11th Apr 2020

New COVID-19 symptom tracking app will help identify virus ‘hotspots’ in Wales and help prepare the NHS

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 11th, 2020

A new App which asks people to self-report  symptoms will help the NHS better understand where coronavirus hotspots are in Wales and help them plan where best to deploy resources.

First Minister Mark Drakeford and NHS Wales are appealing to the Welsh public to download the new COVID Symptom Tracker app whoch is already being used by over 2m people in the UK.

People across Wales are logging their daily symptoms to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people. The app is for everyone, not just those who are experiencing symptoms. 

It is being used by nearly 1,500 people in Flintshire and data from the daily input suggests 3.23% of the local population have COVID-19 symptoms, around 5000 people.

Developed by researchers at King’s College London and healthcare science company, ZOE, the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker is already being used by more than 38,000 people in Wales, and over 2 million across the UK.

People are using the app to track their daily health and any potential COVID-19 symptoms. It is also being used by healthcare and hospital workers.

Data from the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app will be shared daily with the Welsh Government and NHS Wales.

It will give early indications of where future hospital admissions are going to be. 

Scientists from Kings College London and the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank at Swansea University will work with the Welsh Government to analyse the data to inform modelling and understand and predict the developing situation of the disease in Wales.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said:

“Having a range of evidence and data is crucial in helping us build a clear picture of how the virus is behaving and affecting everyone’s lives.

Crucially this app can help us anticipate potential COVID hot spots and get our NHS services ready.

I’m asking everyone in Wales to download the new COVID Symptom Tracker app, so you can help protect our workers and save lives.

Together we can build the best scientific picture so we are better armed to fight this terrible disease.”

The research team at King’s College London and ZOE are analysing the data to generate new insights about the disease.

An interactive map allowing anyone to see the distribution of COVID in their area is available at covid.joinzoe.com as well as frequent science updates.

Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector from King’s College London, says: “Accurate real-time data is essential if we are to beat this disease.

Without accurate and wide spread testing it’s essential that we have much data as possible to help us predict where we are going to see the next spikes in demand so that resources can be effectively deployed ahead of time to meet the needs of the patients.

The support of the Welsh Government and NHS Wales is an incredibly positive step in the right direction and we hope to see other NHS groups coming on board in the coming days. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person who is already participating, and would urge everyone else to download the app and check in every day, whether you are experiencing any symptoms or feeling fine.”

The app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play from the links at covid.joinzoe.com

Daily symptom maps and other content are available via https://covid.joinzoe.com/blog 

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