University of Nebraska develops a COVID-19 screening mobile app

by Karen Burbach, UNMC public relations | April 06, 2020

Available now in the App Store on iPhone

Worried you or your family member might have COVID-19?

UNMC has launched a groundbreaking mobile app to screen large groups of individuals who are concerned that they may have COVID-19 and to help first responders and other health care providers determine a person's likelihood of carrying the disease.

UNMC worked in concert with Apple and with assistance from students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to fast-track development, repeatedly test and now distribute the app, which can be downloaded on the App Store.

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Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

1-Check COVID was created using Apple's ResearchKit and CareKit frameworks alongside UNMC medical and public health experts, who developed the appropriate clinical algorithms. The UNMC team, which included the Department of Emergency Medicine's Thang Nguyen and Wes Zeger, D.O., was assisted by UNO's Harnoor Singh, director of student development for the Scott Scholars Program, as well as UNO Scott Scholars Grayson Stanton, Keegan Brown and Carly Cameron.

1-Check COVID is a user-friendly app that enables people to answer a series of questions and assess their likelihood of having COVID-19. Based on the user's input, the screening app will issue a "low-risk," "urgent risk" or "emergent risk" assessment and guide the individual toward possible next steps specific to their needs. The steps range from continued monitoring of symptoms, contacting one's health care clinic or public health department to determine whether testing is needed, or going to the nearest emergency facility and/or calling 911. The app also helps the user, if they wish, to share their COVID current risk profile with their health care professionals, employers, families and others.

"This will hopefully be lifesaving," said UNMC and UNO Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "The screening app is an important contribution to help our Nebraska communities and beyond navigate important symptoms of the coronavirus. 1-Check COVID will help reassure the worried well, assist public safety teams responding to concerns and guide individuals who may have symptoms but are unsure what to do or how to share their concerns with others."

"Everyone's situation is unique," said Rod Markin, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for business development and director of UNeTech, who helped mature the project. "This tool will enable individuals to screen themselves based on their symptoms and decide if they're experiencing situational anxiety or need to call their doctor's office or something in-between."

Broad distribution of the app will help guide the nation's response and manage information for wide-scale lab testing, said James Lawler, M.D., of the Global Center for Health Security at UNMC. "It's a tool to alleviate concerns, provide reasonable guidance and provide important information based on regional data."

Although not a diagnostic tool, 1-Check COVID will provide appropriate advice based on the user's symptoms, recent travel, geographic region (based on the ZIP code) and medical history. Developers say the screening app will enable individuals to make thoughtful decisions about when, or if, they should seek medical attention and allow them to immediately share the results only if they so choose.

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Jennifer Greenlee
June 22, 2020 at 12:47 PM

It works on Android phones too.

Polly Duryea
May 31, 2020 at 1:26 PM

1-Check COVID should appear in print on a TV program screen—like in the interview on All Things Considered. Or the test’s NAME at least repeated during the interview.

Raymond c hill
April 11, 2020 at 11:33 AM

I don't have 1000 for an I phone, is there an app for the rest of us.

Joseph D. Roy
April 05, 2020 at 1:13 AM

I am from Boston, MA, and I honestly, believe that you, Dr. Smith, as well as the members of your staff in the Biocontainment Unit, I assume 2004-2014, and your fight to keep the center deserves a Nobel Prize for Heart. and determination, I believe that Nurse Shelley, as well as the young Dr, at time on 4 days notice of Dr. Sacra, all of you are now Heroes in my eyes and I am bothered by the fact that I have just heard about you and your team and work. Please keep it up and may God Bless You and both of your families. Thank you, Joseph D Roy, Boston MA.