Swiss scientists launch a new app to collect Covid-19 data

Swiss scientists launch a new app to collect Covid-19 data
A new app will shed light on coronavirus situation. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
The exact extent of the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on Switzerland’s population is unknown. But a new free application launched on Thursday makes it possible to collect information about the evolution of the disease in the country.

Keeping track of the exact number of people infected by coronavirus is difficult because not everyone shows symptoms, and not all suspected cases are tested.

That’s why the true extent of the Covid pandemic in Switzerland is still unknown.

But now a new app, Corona Science, developed by researchers from the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) and the Midata cooperative, could fill this knowledge gap.

“We want to collect data from people who do not appear in the statistics”, said Serge Bignens, one of the researchers involved in the project.

“At least 100,000 responses would be good” he added, noting that the project’s success depends on the participation of as many people as possible.

The new application, which is available in French, German, Italian, and English, is intended in particular for people suffering from Covid-19.

“We want to know what their symptoms are and how strong each of them is”, Bignens said.

READ MORE: Ending Switzerland’s coronavirus lockdown: The key questions

However, the application is not limited to those who have been infected.

Researchers also want to find out how healthy people are being affected by the pandemic and the related restrictions.

The analysis of the data will also show the psychological effects experienced by the population during and after the confinement.

“After the first use, users are invited to create an account and provide, anonymously, a weekly or even daily update”, Bignens said. Once collected, the data will be made available to researchers on an open access platform.

“Among the personal information, only the age group and the canton of residence are transmitted,” he explained.

“This would finally give us an overview of the coronavirus pandemic in Switzerland”.

The application can be downloaded on Coronascience.ch or on the Google Play Store. The iOS version will follow soon.

 


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