Stanford Medicine team launches survey via smartphone app to assess impact of COVID-19

A Stanford Medicine survey that aims to help researchers understand how COVID-19 is affecting people’s lives has been built into a smartphone app designed to screen patients at coronavirus testing sites.

Courtesy of Gauss

Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine have launched a national survey to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us, not only physically but also socially, financially and emotionally.

The survey is being conducted through a new smartphone app designed to screen patients at drive-through COVID-19 testing sites. 

“We want to learn how people are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of the impact on their lives,” said Melissa Bondy, PhD, professor and chair of epidemiology and population health, who led the team developing the survey. “We don’t know how many will complete it, but we hope thousands will soon be filling it in.”

Bondy developed the survey with associate professor Lorene Nelson, PhD, and professor Steven Goodman, MD, PhD, both in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health

The epidemiologists collaborated with Gauss, which today  began offering the free app for use throughout the United States. 

The app, called Apollo, helps users determine if they are likely to qualify for COVID-19 testing according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it helps them find a nearby testing facility from a nationwide directory. It also generates an encrypted QR code that health care workers can scan through a car window to review patients’ responses about their symptoms. After screening, the app invites users to participate in the Stanford Apollo survey. The survey is available in nine languages and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

“Hopefully, we’ll get information from a wide spectrum of people that will help us understand the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and their entire households,” Bondy said.



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