Community-based COVID-19 spatial analysis in Northern Ireland using smartphone, self-reported symptom data

Jennifer McKinley*, David Cutting, Neil Anderson, Conor Graham, Brian Johnston, Ute Mueller, Peter M. Atkinson, Frank Kee, Declan T. Bradley, Hugo van Woerden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

65 Downloads (Pure)


Different countries adopted a range of strategies, including mobile platforms, to monitor the spread of COVID-19. While assessing the effectiveness of different measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community remains a challenge, it is essential nevertheless to assess the prevalence of the disease during all stages of the pandemic.1,2 National statistics agencies record data on the number of COVID-19 related hospital admissions and deaths but contagion of the virus in the community depends on individual and social behaviour, and such data remain more difficult to record. This interdisciplinary project investigated the spatial and temporal variation in the prevalence ofCOVID-19 symptomatology in the community and the relationship between the observed self-reported symptom prevalence and social deprivation in Northern Ireland. Two COVID-19 mobile data platforms are available in Northern Ireland, the KCL ZOE symptom tracker app launched on 24 March 2020 (developed by a collaboration between King’s College London(KCL) and the health science company ZOE; and COVIDCare NI (formerly known as ‘COVID-19 NI’) released on 6 April 2020 by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland (DoH). The COVIDCare NI symptom checker app was developed primarily as part of a triage system to provide advice for users on whether they should self-isolate and – in cases where the symptoms are severe or the users are within at-risk categories – to seek medical assistance. Both smartphone apps record data from both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals and provide a way to track how the virus has progressed through Northern Ireland using self-reported health information.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUk
PublisherPublic Health Agency
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80049-226-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • GIS
  • mobile app
  • spatial analysis
  • Bayesian approach
  • Social deprivation measures
  • housing density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Health Policy
  • Statistics and Probability


Dive into the research topics of 'Community-based COVID-19 spatial analysis in Northern Ireland using smartphone, self-reported symptom data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this