Beat COVID-19 Now is where people from around the world come together to track their health and symptoms daily. Their input provides a real-time picture of the spread of COVID-19 and can alert health authorities to emerging hotspots. This information will help communities, local health services and health agencies in a country, as well as around the world, to understand and manage the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as future outbreaks.
So how does it work?
Users download the Beat COVID-19 Now symptom tracker app or visit beatcovid19now.org.
The symptom tracker asks questions about health symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19. We ask people to answer the questions, every day, even if they don't have symptoms. It is important to know if people in your community are experiencing symptoms or not. Answering the questions daily helps people to understand their own symptoms and they will be guided to important information about COVID-19.
Beat COVID-19 Now is collecting symptom information from communities all around the world. The more people who answer the questions regularly, the more information will be available to understand the spread of symptoms, allowing us to predict hotspots where COVID-19 could develop.
By knowing where people are potentially having symptoms from COVID-19 we can help communities and health services plan better, and prepare even before people are tested and diagnosed.
Better information means better health for all – leaving no one behind.
Why is this so important?
This could save lives. Beat COVID-19 Now provides information that assists rapid responses by individuals, communities, health services and governments, to predict and minimise the impact of outbreaks.
Reliable and accurate data is more important now than ever to ensure we know as much as we can about this disease and its spread, and so that the authorities can take appropriate steps to help beat it.
Professor Richard Osborne
What happens to the information we collect?
Only anonymous information is collected for this global research.
Cookies are used to monitor your symptoms over time (so you don’t have to fill in details like age, gender and postcode each time you log how you’re feeling). You can select a no-cookies option and still join us in beating COVID-19 by completing a single entry, for yourself or for your friends or family members. You’ll be given this option right at the start.
All of the information will be analysed by teams of scientists to understand more about the virus, including the combinations of symptoms, and change in symptoms across commnities that may indicate the emergence or recession of an outbreak. The results will be shared with local, regional and government authorities and public health networks.
The future vision
The new knowledge this project is creating will inform researchers and health authorities in many countries on pandemics and help to minimise their impact on people, economies, health, social infrastructure and nation states. We expect the data will be a valuable resource for decades, not only to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, but future pandemics.
Please join us either as a participant, researcher, or both.
How is Beat COVID-19 Now different to other COVID-19 apps?
Beat COVID-19 Now provides a digital platform that community members can trust and comprehensively self-monitor and register their exposure, symptom development and lived experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. This app is unique because it monitors exposure to COVID-19, positive cases, communication behaviour practices, health literacy, digital health literacy, and food and medicine security.
I don’t have any symptoms, why should I use the app?
By using the app, you help to determine where there are people with and people without symptoms. So even when you don’t have symptoms, have not been tested, or been in another country, your use helps flesh out the bigger picture.
What happens to the answers I provide in the app?
Is my information safe?
Yes. You cannot be identified by the data you enter into the app – you won’t be asked to provide your email address, home address, or phone number. The data that is collected is stored on secure servers that only the Swinburne research team can access. The Swinburne University of Technology ethical committee has reviewed and approved the project, including the app and data storage. For now, this means that the data is not available as open source.
Is it possible to collaborate with Swinburne on this research project?
This project is led by Professor Richard Osborne and he is the primary point of contact for any questions about collaboration. Please email email@example.com
Has the Australian Government endorsed this research?
No, but we are in discussions with Australian Government on how we can collaborate.
A team of preeminent scholars from Swinburne University of Technology collaborated with technology provider ARQ Group and numerous individuals, who are committed to people’s personal and societal wellbeing.
Chief Investigator Professor Richard Osborne
Richard is Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences in the School of Health, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design. He holds a prestigious NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (2019-23), is an adviser to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and is a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher (top 1% most influential researcher globally in the cross-field category). He holds Honorary Professor positions at Copenhagen University, Denmark, and Thammasat University, Thailand.
Professor Matthew Bailes
Matthew is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGRav). He is a world leader in the discovery and timing of millisecond pulsars and has made pivotal contributions to the discovery of the Fast Radio Bursts – enigmatic millisecond-duration bursts of radio waves that strike the Earth many thousands of times per day and are of unknown origin.
Professor Gavin Lambert
Gavin is the Director of the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute. He is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and was formerly Head of the Human Neurotransmitters Laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute. He is a neurochemist/clinical research scientist and his research focus includes psychological stress, hypertension and obesity.
Professor Gerald Elsworth
Gerald (BSc Melbourne, PhD James Cook) is a program evaluator and research methodologist who specialises in the application of survey methods and self-report measurement to evaluation research in public health, community safety and education.
Professor Bruce Thompson
Dr Shandell Elmer
Shandell is a Senior Research Fellow within the Centre for Global Health and Equity, School of Health Sciences at Swinburne. Since commencing her career as a Registered Nurse working in oncology, Shandell has had a diverse work history in the academic, health care and community sectors. She has gained extensive experience in the areas of quality improvement and health service design and evaluation.
Associate Professor Roy Batterham
Roy is a recognised leader in research and intervention development for health literacy, especially in community settings. In addition to his role within Global Health and Equity at Swinburne, Roy also has an equivalent appointment at Thammasat University Thailand.
Ranjit G Nadarajah
Ranjit is committed to cross-disciplinary research and the creation, translation and utilisation of research-based knowledge. He has transitioned through careers from finance and business analyst to educator and researcher with interests in research leadership, management and governance.
Dr Zaman Jawahar
Professor Peter Taylor
Peter is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow (2013-2018), Director ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne. He is an expert in stochastic modelling and applied probability, with particular emphasis on applications in telecommunications, biological modelling, healthcare, economics and disaster management.
Professor Rachelle Buchbinder
Rachelle is Director of the Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Monash University. Her project role focuses on research design. She is a clinical epidemiologist and is an expert in health literacy.
Simon Holmes à Court
Simon is senior advisor to the Energy Transition Hub, Melbourne University and is the Director of the Smart Energy Council.
Dr Jim Palfreyman
Jim works in data security and data analytics at the University of Tasmania.
Data handling and visualisation
Dr Colin Jacobs
Professor Karl Glazebrook
Dr Themiya Nanayakkara
Dr Dorota Bayer
Dr Jielai Zhang
Dr Stefan Oslowski
The Beat COVID-19 Now research project and app has been funded by Swinburne University of Technology and a NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship. The questions in the app are based on the validated Influenza Intensity and Impact Questionnaire (flu-iiQ).
Get in contact with the research team via firstname.lastname@example.org