The app was devised and developed by a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge which includes clinicians, computer scientists and physicists. The app will be used to collect the sounds of voice, breathing and cough from the participants, in order to develop algorithms to inform the diagnosis of COVID-19.
What are the aims of the research?
To collect data to inform the diagnosis and disease stage of COVID-19 by developing algorithms, based primarily on sounds of voice, breathing and coughing.
To understand the difference between the sounds of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Should I record only if I think I am positive?
No - we are interested in gathering data from anyone with or without symptoms, and anyone before, during or after a symptomatic period. The survey in the app asks you if you know you have been positive (from a swab test). Positives are (fortunately!) less common than negatives, so we do encourage to spread the word to anyone you know is (or has been) positive.
How will my data be used?
Researchers will use the data to inform the signal processing and machine learning algorithms needed to develop the diagnostic tool. Initially only researchers in the research team will have access to the data. The team hopes to release the dataset more widely and is looking into options of preprocessing and legal framework which would allow this to happen preserving user privacy.
How will my data be protected?
Do you have ethics approval for this study?
Yes, the study was approved by the ethics committee of the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge.
Who is financing your work?
The work is supported by the European Research Council as well as the University of Cambridge and the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Can I ask for my data to be deleted?
At the end of the questionnaire, a user is assigned a unique id which is displayed on the screen. If you want your data deleted you may email that id to this email and we will delete the data.
Will you release your code?
We aim to release all code as open source.
Can I fill the questionnaire on behalf of others?
No, we assume that the person filling the questionnaire is the person answering the questions as well as giving consent for the data to be used.
I am under 16, can I use the app?
No, the app should only be used if you are over 16.
Why are you asking for audio and location permissions?
We ask for minimal permissions to allow the app to work properly and collect required data for our research. You are asked for consent to record sounds (microphone) as well as one location sample (around 100m granularity) while you are filling the questionnaire. This is important so that we know you are OK with us using that sensitive information for our research. You can opt-out of the location sample collection if you only want to contribute sounds.
Can I report a bug or a suggestion?
You can report feedback including issues such as bug reports and suggestions to improve the app functionality to this email .
Do you collect emails or identifiers?
No, we only collect the data you want to share. The data we ask you to share if you want including gender, age, medical history, if you are in hospital, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, one sample of location, sounds of voice while reading on the screen, breathing and coughing.
Will the app be available on the Android or iOS stores and outside the
The Android and iOS apps are available now almost globally. We are hoping to reach China soon. Our Android app currently supports English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Hindi, Russian, Greek and Chinese. We are constantly working to add more languages.
Why does the app prompt for new inputs every few days?
The Android and iOS apps prompt the user to provide new inputs, every few days. Such data, from the same user, over time, is particularly valuable to our research. We are very grateful to volunteers who provide repeated data points. It is ok to skip days, and contribute some time later. If this notification is a problem to you, currently the solution is to uninstall the app.
How quickly will you have results, and how do I find out the progress of your
The speed of our research depends in part on the quantity of data we can gather in the coming months - we
depend on the public to volunteer their data. Our initial results are available here but we always iterate on better methods given the influx of new data. We will try to keep our web page (https://www.covid-19-sounds.org/) up to date with findings and
information as much as possible.