INK C-19 coronavirus heatmap supporting NHS and UK Government in new joint initiative to manage Covid-19 crisis.
Symptom mapping tool part of the new OASIS project and offers a quick, light-touch way for the British public to help the NHS.
INK C-19, the free open source Covid-19 symptom monitoring tool, is actively assisting the NHS in managing the ongoing Covid-19 crisis by providing access to regional anonymised data provided by the British public on the spread of symptoms of the virus across the country. INK C-19 is a leading tool in the OASIS project, a joint initiative between NHSX and jHub (the Ministry of Defence innovation hub) that collates data from third-party app providers to help the NHS respond more effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic.
INK C-19 is assisting both national and local health authorities to track the symptoms of Covid-19 across the UK by building risk profiles in local areas. The aim is for INK C-19 to assist the Government to manage its way out of the current lockdown situation safely and more efficiently through the use of light-touch, publicly-sourced anonymised data. As a trusted App Provider for the OASIS project, INK C-19 will provide select data to the NHS around symptoms experienced across the UK, enabling the health service to build a greater understanding of the experience of the UK population as geographical segments.
INK C-19 allows any government, health service, local authority or trusted third party to make use of the light-touch symptom information displayed on its heatmap tool to help them better plan and monitor for current and future outbreaks. In just 10 seconds, individuals can do their bit to help the NHS by indicating one of four health statuses via the app in relation to Covid-19 – healthy (green); suspected symptoms (yellow); confirmed symptoms (red); or past symptoms (blue). The tool asks no intrusive questions, requires no additional personal or medical information, and does not track movement. The OASIS project itself will not be receiving or requesting any data that can identify individuals, such as names or GPS specific location data.
The information will provide local communities with invaluable insight on the spread of symptoms in their area, allowing anyone to see trends across the world visualised on the heatmap. The tool is a Progressive Web App (PWA) which can be accessed via the browser of a desktop computer or smartphone, meaning that there is no download required to a user’s device.
Steve Winyard, CMO Agitate, said:
“As we move into the next phase of our response to the virus, a data-driven lockdown exit strategy is only going to work if the public trust in how their personal information is being utilised. We know that other tools ask a lot of personal questions, such as weight, height, age and previous medical history. While this is certainly useful information for health services to know, it’s clear that such an intrusive set of questions is proving to be a barrier to many. INK C-19 only needs to know your current health status in relation to Covid-19, and the feedback we’ve had so far is that users overwhelmingly support the light-touch approach we’ve taken to symptom monitoring and trust that their privacy is being respected.
“We’re proud to be able to help the NHS in their efforts to help the British public by offering direct access to the regional, street-level anonymised data that the public are providing via our app. We also believe that the role of INK C-19 could go even further and could well be the foundation for future lockdown exit strategy management. We would be able to help identify risks and success rates from potential lockdown relaxation strategies as and when they are implemented on a local and eventually national scale to ensure that the country is lifting restrictions safely and at the right time. Crucially, this relies on as many people using the service as possible – the more people who use INK to report their symptoms, the better the picture it can give of the local, national and global spread.”