An anonymous survey is being conducted by Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute to gather research about COVID-19 symptoms. The data from the survey could be used to help health agencies monitor trends and predict future outbreaks.
In an effort to get the survey to as many people as possible, it will be shared on Microsoft News to site visitors who will be invited to participate in the pilot round of the study. People who choose to take part will be asked an anonymous seven-question survey, which includes queries about symptoms, general location and travel patterns, but does not include any personal identifying information. The aggregated data would then be analyzed by researchers.
“Given limited testing in multiple parts of the world, we have limited knowledge about the spread of COVID-19. Information from this survey will supplement available clinical data, providing a wider view of the outbreak situation,” said Brian Dixon, PhD, MPA, lead Regenstrief researcher on this project. “The information can help epidemiologists understand how the virus is spreading and identify hotspots, enabling leaders to take preventive actions. This novel data gathering method will add another tool to our arsenal as we work to contain the virus and protect the health of people around the world.”
The survey will first be utilized in the U.S., with development ongoing for distribution to 15 other global markets.
“Given the rapidly evolving nature of this pandemic, understanding characteristic symptoms and prevalence is essential to developing effective responses to this virus,” said Shaun Grannis, M.D., Regenstrief vice president for data and analytics. “Being able to gather this additional data will provide valuable real-time insights across the community extending beyond the healthcare system.”
Researchers say the collected information and data-gathering techniques could be used in other research efforts to track future outbreaks.