What is corus?
Corus is a mobile phone app developed by Harvard scientists to help contain the spread of COVID-19. With Corus, the user's phone automatically detects other phones in close proximity. If tested positive for COVID-19, an anonymous notification appears on the phones of those who have been in contact with the infected user, and measures to be taken are described such as self-isolation. An additional diagnostic feature is also included in Corus. Using an algorithm, certain paramenters such as exposure to COVID-19 or pre-existing health conditions, the user can know their risk for catching COVID-19.
What is contact tracing?
Oftentimes, the infectiosness of COVID-19 begins before any symptoms are present, causing people to be unaware if they have been exposed to someone who has this virus. Without a vaccine or cure, other measures have to be taken to reduce the impact on society and the economy, one way being contact tracing. When a person becomes sick with COVID-19, he/she has to manually notify the people they have been in contact with in the past two weeks, resulting in a slow and unreliable approach. Using automatic contact tracing via a phone app such as Corus, the people who have been exposed to the virus get notified instantenously.
Importance of At-home Risk Assessment
A large portion of COVID-19 cases are mild, meaning hospitalization is not required and testing may not be necessary. In fact, going to a hospital to get testing might pose a risk to those around you if symptoms are not serious as you could infect other people. In this case, at-home risk assessment is necessary. The Corus app contains a second feature that uses a machine learning algorithm to detect the user's risk for COVID-19. Parameters such as location, age, pre-existing health conditions, and an analysis of the user's breathing and coughing are used to determine this said risk. Once the user is aware of their risk factor for being infected with COVID-19, different measures are suggested.
How You Can Help
In order to improve the risk assessment feature, we need your help. Please click on the link below to fill out a quick questionnaire that will help us gather more data to improve the app.
*please have a smartphone/device available for audio recordings
Click to learn more about this effort.