We all keep hearing from the medical community and the front lines about the need for personal protective equipment (PPE), but one of the most critical needs is information. Doctors and scientists are desperate for comprehensive and aggregate symptom data on COVID-19 so they can respond more quickly and identify hotspots, community by community, enabling them to make faster decisions to help slow or contain the virus spread. Currently, that type of real-time information is just not available at scale.
A new non-profit started by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann and doctors and scientists from MIT, Harvard, Stanford and other academic institutions is launching its first app this week, called How We Feel , focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 by crowdsourcing self-reported symptoms.
It takes just 30 seconds a day to complete a health check-in, but it has the potential to save lives. The first time you complete a check-in, How We Feel donates a meal* to Feeding America—up to 10 million meals.
The app doesn’t require information like your name, phone number or email address—and no login is required. All you have to do is answer a brief survey to let doctors and scientists know how you’re doing, healthy or not. The app is completely independent of Pinterest (it only leverages the company’s engineers as volunteers) and the data can be accessed only by approved institutions actively working to advance public health.
It is critical that all Americans participate. Aggregate data is only useful if we have a lot of inputs from a lot of people, all over the country. Each data donation may feel like a small act, but together they’ll make a huge difference for researchers who are trying to understand this virus and develop intervention measures as quickly as possible.
How We Feel will be available for download on the iPhone and Android on April 2 and is an easy way to help stop the spread. Please log in daily for a health check in. Learn more at http://www.howwefeel.org .
*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.