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tech4COVID19: Covidografia Platform makes symptomatic self-assessment of COVID-19 in the population

The tech4COVID19 movement continues to encourage the technological community to create solutions to combat COVID-19. There are more than 30 projects in production and more than 4,700 volunteers involved in counter-clockwise against the new coronavirus pandemic. The initiative launched the Covidografia platform, which allows anonymous tracking of contagion networks in Portugal.

As explained, this symptomatic self-assessment platform builds an anonymous and confidential photograph of the symptoms and respective evolution of COVID-19 in the Portuguese population. Through the anonymous tracking of the contagion networks in Portugal, this platform has the potential to contribute to a more effective exit from the generalized quarantine, and an acceleration of the socioeconomic recovery, mentioned in the statement.

Although the idea is not new, the movement wants this type of information to be used by health authorities, in order to help plan resources and take action. It also intends to support the medical and scientific community to better understand the evolution of the virus.

The movement is an example of a study carried out in the United Kingdom, with daily surveys of 1.5 million citizens, which were collected through a symptomatic self-assessment application, the COVID Symptom Tracker. In this study it was concluded that of all the people who were tested, 59% of those who tested positive self-reported loss of smell and, or, taste, against 18% who tested negative. That test proved to be more assertive in predicting infection than fever, and in that sense, the researchers obtained an additional list of 50,000 people most likely to have been infected.

In practical terms, by accessing the Covidografia website, users can register their symptoms daily and view, in aggregate form and in real time, the number of people with or without symptoms, whether they are suspected or recovered, infected, in isolation, within your geographic area. The information is listed respecting the privacy and anonymity of the respective users.

The platform has been in beta for a week, but already has more than 50 thousand Portuguese registered, a number that the organization refers to as interesting and explained by its ease of use. According to Rui Costa, one of the volunteers involved in the project, in this initial phase, the most important is the mass adhesion of the Portuguese so that this project can really help to reduce the impact of this scourge on Portuguese society. And it gives the example that mobile applications have made it possible, in other countries, to abandon the general quarantine more effectively and accelerate the social and economic recovery.

The registration supports the authentication of Google and Facebook accounts, but other formats will be introduced in the future. The use of social networks does not compromise the privacy of users' data, according to the GDPR.