7 Smartphone Apps for COVID Detection

July 16, 2020
Apps for COVID Detection

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have been working round the clock developing things such as pharmaceuticals, masks and apps. Because of the very nature of the virus, where a person can go on for days before developing any symptoms, containing its spread becomes challenging. While apps have been created to gauge symptoms and collect information, there are apps that also enable contact tracing and disease detection through voice analysis. COVID-19 causes a pneumonia-like disease, which has quickly spread across the globe; and to slow its advance, shutdowns had to be observed. China was the first to shut down, disrupting production of the iPhone. The rest of the world eventually had to follow suit, bringing the global economy to a halt.


Flattening the virus curve and maintaining lower mortality rates is also being attributed to technology integration. Some countries were quick to deploy digital technologies to improve planning, testing, contact tracing and surveillance. The success of such comprehensive responses can be adopted by others too. On a more global level, companies like Apple and Google have released “exposure notification” technology to help health authorities track the coronavirus pandemic. Governments across the globe have been willing to integrate this technology in their own coronavirus detection app. Given the influx of these apps, here is a list of 7 Smartphone apps that actually standout:



Covid-19 Tracker coronavirus app


To reduce the risk for others, this app allows users to report their symptoms. If a user tests positive, the app then alerts their contacts so that they can seek medical care in order to prevent the virus from spreading. The app allows division of users into three categories: users that are asymptomatic but have not tested positive are shown as dark green, users with symptoms but not tested are shown as yellow, and those who self report testing positive are shown as pink. The colors will change as new information is fed to the system. This app also keeps you up-to-date with the latest coronavirus updates and enables users to engage with other users in real-time.


Covid Symptom Tracker


Covid Symptom Tracker has been designed by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals and health company Zoe Global Limited. This app lets users’ self-report symptoms via a one-minute test, which can be taken on a daily basis. To curb its spread, it is important that researchers are aware of how fast it spreads and which are the high-risk areas, and most importantly identifying who is more likely to contract it based on the information which is fed to the system.


TraceTogether coronavirus app


Created by Singapore-based developers,TraceTogether is a community-driver contact tracing that works via Bluetooth. To curb the spread of the virus, Bluetooth signals are used to create a network of TraceTogether users. Upon coming into close contact with an infected person, the app alerts the Ministry of Health (MOH), in order for them to contact you, to help you through the process.


Aarogya Setu


Launched by India in April 2020, Aarogya Setu is an open-source COVID-19 app, which provides contact tracing, syndromic mapping and self-assessment services. Developed by the National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the app had crossed 100 million installs within the first 40 days. Installation of the app was made mandatory by the Indian government for employees working across government and private sectors. A tracking app which relies on the GPS and Bluetooth features on smartphones, it also shares best practices and advisories.  With location-based functionality, the app scans through a database of known cases across the country to determine an individual’s risk exposure.


Close contact detector app


To help users establish their risk of contracting the virus, China launched a ‘close contact detector’ app. A close contact can be defined in terms of the proximity, without any effective protection measures in place. It was developed by the NHC, General Office of the State Council and China Electronics Technology Group Corporations (CETC) with support from other government agencies. The app allows users to scan a QR code via other apps such as Alipay or WeChat. In order to find out if a user has been in close contact with an infected person, the app requires you to submit your phone number, name and ID number.


COVID-19 Sounds App


In an effort to contain the novel virus, a team of EU-funded scientists has introduced a COVID detection app that allows data collection, which facilitates COVID-19 diagnosis. It has the capability to assist scientists in developing machine learning algorithms that enable automated detection based on how a person breathes coughs and sounds. Using Artificial Intelligence to examine anomalies in the sounds like sighs, voice and heartbeats can prove very powerful, even after the pandemic ends.


NHS COVID-19 app


National Health Service in the UK developed an app that relies on Bluetooth Low Energy handshakes to establish and register proximity between smartphone users. The NHS clinical algorithm is designed to estimate infection risk based on the duration of the ‘content event’ along with the distance between the devices. It also alerts users if a subsequent user has developed any COVID-19 symptoms. However, due to some further development work, it is seeing some disruptions.


This is perhaps one of the most essential coronavirus apps out there that one can have on their phone. Since it is run by the NHS, going through medical records and booking GP appointments is also facilitated.


According to your locality, you can choose an application that best serves your purpose. These were just some of the apps that have made it bigger than the others. Rest assured, we hope the pandemic comes to an end and if installing an app can help, then why shouldn’t we all just do our bit?