Accelerating our knowledge of COVID-19
PHIDU and Torrens University are supporting an initiative of the Immunisation Coalition to add to our knowledge of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is having a major impact on communities in Australia and around the world. Our fight against it is currently compromised because there is much we don’t know about what the symptoms and impact are here in Australia currently, or are likely to be in the future. We need to know a lot more about the real-world symptoms, especially what might be early indicators.
The Immunisation Coalition have released the Unlocking Australia App which aims to enlist Australians to track their health status every day. In this way, if they get sick with confirmed COVID-19, we can look back on what symptoms or health conditions they had previously reported, at what stage, and hopefully see trends to inform new public health guidelines. As we see patterns in early indicators, we can then start to predict any upsurge in the disease, ahead of formal testing, so as to better inform resource planning.
The data from the app are held by Torrens University, following Ethics Approval for the conduct of the survey, the storage of data and reporting. PHIDU’s role will be in analysing the data and publishing results. The Unlocking Australia App is not an alternative to the Australian Government's COVIDSafe app. It is in fact complementary to the Government's app, because it tracks symptoms, while COVIDsafe tracks people. You can find out more about COVIDsafe at https://www.australia.gov.au/.
To complete the survey and for further information go to Unlocking Australia
Initially we will publish information as to the number of people who have registered, by age and sex, and the proportion they represent of the population.
Once a large enough number of people have are providing their information, we will publish maps of the number and proportion of the population by suburb and locality, allowing comparisons across each state and Australia. In line with standard practice, information will only be published where there are sufficient people or cases in an age group or area to avoid the identification of individuals.
We are taking the following steps to protect your privacy:The Unlocking Australia App only asks for a first name and email; no other identifying data are collected, and the analysis will be on this de-identified data.
The suburb or locality of the home address of respondents is collected so as to be able show variations in symptoms by geographical location.
The information provided through the app is stored at Torrens University, with access limited to PHIDU staff, who are trained in the importance of confidentiality and maintaining the privacy and security of information
Data will not be released or published for a table cell (e.g., an age or sex group, a suburb) where there are fewer than five people/instances (e.g., numbers with a disease).
Data may be released to other, approved researchers.
The project was approved by the Torrens University Australia Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).