UW Medicine testing app designed to predict next major outbreak
A new app being tested by UW Medicine hopes to be able to predict the next major outbreak, as well as preventing people from returning to work while still sick.
The app will roll out to 25,000 people nationwide, and will collection information from those participants over a two-year period. People will participate for 12 weeks at a time, recording daily symptoms, physical activity, sleep patterns, and more.
The hope is that with this self-reported data, it will become easier to track and trace the spread of a virus as it’s spreading in real time sans in-person testing, and ultimately, get ahead of it enough to adequately prepare for a full-scale outbreak.
“This is a huge opportunity for us to get a sense as to whether or not phones could basically become a personal screener for an illness without having to go to a drive-in screening clinic or to a hospital to figure out if a pandemic is blooming,” said UW Medicine Professor Patricia Areàn.
Despite the many resources devoted to controlling the nation’s current outbreak, Areàn points out that “it’s actually a really useful time for us to collect information.” That makes it so more testing can be run in the fall and winter months.
Participants must have an Android or iOS smartphone, and be over the age of 19. They will have the chance to earn “up to $90” for their role in testing the app, while all personal data will be encrypted and anonymous.
You can fill out this form if you’re interested in enrolling.