Germany launches app to gather info on virus spread

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(7 Apr 2020) Germany’s national disease control center has launched an app that it says it could help scientists better understand the spread of the new coronavirus by analyzing users’ smart watch or fitness band data.
The Robert Koch Institute called on volunteers to install the “Corona Data Donation” in a pilot project.
It says smart watches and fitness bands record resting heart rates, sleep patterns and the level of activity of their users.
Robert Koch Institute head Lothar Wieler says pairing the health information with the location could help scientists detect a new outbreak.
Wieler stressed that the app is not a diagnostic tool for people to use to self-test for the coronavirus.
The institute is hoping for 1 million people to sign up, about 10% of the population.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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