Otterbein Urges Community to Fight COVID-19 with Citizen Science App

Posted Apr 08, 2020

In the fight against COVID-19, Otterbein University leaves no stone unturned, this time asking its community to click an app.

“We are encouraging all members of the Otterbein Community to participate in Citizen Science,” said Otterbein Vice President for Academic Affairs Wendy Sherman Heckler. “Participating is simple: you download the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app and open it each day to report your symptoms or lack of symptoms.”

The COVID symptom tracker was created by doctors and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, King’s College London and Stanford University School of Medicine, co-developed with ZOE – a health science company. The app will be used to study the symptoms of COVID-19 and track the spread of this virus.

“If enough Americans share daily how they feel, even if they’re well, this app can provide the healthcare system with critically valuable information,” said Andrew Chan, lead researcher and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. “This app-based study is a way to find out where the COVID-19 hot spots are, new symptoms to look out for, and might be used as a planning tool to target quarantines, send ventilators and provide real-time data to plan for future outbreaks.”

Otterbein’s participation in Citizen Science fits perfectly in the University’s Integrative Studies Program, which revolves around the theme of “Knowledge, Action, and the Public Good,” added Sherman Heckler.

Across Otterbein’s four-year curriculum, we ask our students to consider complicated issues and to explore their own agency in solving societal problems. We also think it’s important for everyone to consider their own values and the potential impact their actions have on others in contemplating the role they want to play in their own communities.

For more information on the Citizen Science app and COVID-19 prevention at Otterbein, visit our website.