Digital technologies have been widely utilized to assist with disease detection and management throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The prevalence of smartphone usage amongst populations has assisted the provision of mobile applications that citizens can use to manage their health. Covid-19 symptom checker smartphone apps enable users to enter their health characteristics and receive validated advice related to self-isolation, testing and whether to seek clinical care. Moreover, the collection of symptom data can assist healthcare providers with disease surveillance and resource allocation. However, the adoption of symptom checker apps can be influenced by several factors including the functionality of the app, and data privacy and protection policies. In this study, we reviewed nine symptom checker apps that were available on the Android and iOS platforms. We analyzed characteristics related to the functionality and accessibility of the apps, and factors that related to privacy, transparency and trust. We found that most of the apps were multifunctional and several (n = 4) combined contact tracing and symptom checking functionalities. Moreover, there was variation in the quantity of personal data collected and symptom checking questions. For all the apps reviewed information related to privacy and data protection was available, however, there was variability in the content and readability of this material. Information regarding the technical profile of the apps was also inconsistent. For several of the apps, access to the symptom checking functionality was restricted by location. This review suggests that symptom checker apps provide an effective tool for public health management during the Covid-19 pandemic.
|Title of host publication||HCI International 2021 - Posters - 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Proceedings|
|Editors||Constantine Stephanidis, Margherita Antona, Stavroula Ntoa|
|Publisher||Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2021|
|Event||23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2021 - Virtual, Online|
Duration: 24 Jul 2021 → 29 Jul 2021
|Name||Communications in Computer and Information Science|
|Conference||23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2021|
|Period||24/07/21 → 29/07/21|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments. This work was supported by the SHAPES project. SHAPES - Smart and Healthy Ageing through People Engaging in Supportive Systems - is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union for Research Innovation. Grant agreement number: 857159-SHAPES-H2020-SC1-FA-DTS-2018–2020.
© 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
- Digital health
- Symptom checker