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App data analysis providing vital insights to support COVID-19 response across the four UK nations

Deidentified data from the COVID-19 Symptom Study app is being used to inform national responses to the pandemic across the UK, led by BREATHE – the Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health.

BREATHE is working directly with government bodies across the UK to provide insights, reports and trends arising from data collected in the COVID-19 Symptom Study app, developed by King’s College London and ZOE.

Working with emergency COVID-19 committees

BREATHE is providing initial analyses of the data directly to emergency COVID-19 committees across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is working closely with organisations in England to set up similar pipelines and support.

BREATHE analysts continue to liaise with the committees to answer specific reporting requests. The frequent reports provide up-to-date information based on deidentified app data (app data with any identifiable information removed), at a local and national level. Armed with this knowledge, local authorities have been supported to make crucial decisions, such as where to direct vital NHS supplies.

Professor Aziz Sheikh, BREATHE Director, is part of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group, providing expert advice to the Scottish Government on its response to the virus.

Thanks to the efforts of over 3 million app users, we are able to provide up-to-date information directly to those managing the UK’s COVID-19 response. As we look to life post-lockdown, insights from the app data will play a key role in the development of informed exit strategies.

Professor Aziz SheikhBREATHE Director

Backed by Scottish and Welsh Governments

The app has received public endorsements from both the Scottish and Welsh Governments, who have promoted its use to help inform research related to symptom spread in the community and tracking potential cases outside of direct healthcare locations.

Where to download the app

The information you provide is vital to help us understand the virus and associated disease, and take steps to slow its progress, and plan clinical care.

For links to download the app, visit the ZOE website

What BREATHE does with the app data

We've answered some key questions about our involvement. Find out about the type of data we receive, how we safely manage access, and why it's so important.

What does BREATHE do with the app data? And why is it so important?