Self-Assessment of Having COVID-19 With the Corona Check mHealth App

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a lack of knowledge about the novel virus and a lack of widely available tests, getting first feedback about being infected was not easy. To support all citizens in this respect, we developed the mobile health app Corona Check. Based on a self-reported questionnaire about symptoms and contact history, users get first feedback about a possible corona infection and advice on what to do. We developed Corona Check based on our existing software framework and released the app on Google Play and the Apple App Store on April 4, 2020. Until October 30, 2021, we collected 51,323 assessments from 35,118 users with explicit agreement of the users that their anonymized data may be used for research purposes. For 70.6% of the assessments, the users additionally shared their coarse geolocation with us. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to report about such a large-scale study in this context of COVID-19 mHealth systems. Although users from some countries reported more symptoms on average than users from other countries, we did not find any statistically significant differences between symptom distributions (regarding country, age, and sex). Overall, the Corona Check app provided easily accessible information on corona symptoms and showed the potential to help overburdened corona telephone hotlines, especially during the beginning of the pandemic. Corona Check thus was able to support fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus. mHealth apps further prove to be valuable tools for longitudinal health data collection.

You can find our full article published in JBHI (IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics) here (PDF).

Overview of the whole Corona Check process.
Corona Check assessments over time. For comparison, we also show new COVID-19 cases (7-day smoothed) per 1 million people.