NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Vanderbilt University launched a new virtual self-screening tool this week that will help individuals assess their risk of being infected with COVID-19.
In addition, the app could expedite testing and collection of public health data.
Both T.S. Harvey, associate professor of anthropology and expert in risk reduction and global public health and Thomas Scherr, a research professor of chemistry and expert in mobile health, are hoping to give people access to resources, understand who COVID-19 is impacting and how it evolves over time.
“There’s still a lot of information not known about COVID-19, we’re hoping our assessment can produce some of those answers,” Scherr said.
Members of the public can access the screening tool on a computer or mobile device. It guides users through a screening quiz that asks questions about symptoms, as well as demographic and social risk factors.
The tool uses one’s answers to develop a risk score and then guides the user toward appropriate next steps whether that’s reinforcing good hygiene and social distancing behaviors, a referral to the user’s state health department for further evaluation or a referral for testing.
“We hope we can get people to participate [in mitigating the spread of COVID-19] in a powerful way…and this can be a service to our community, state and nation,” Harvey said. ”We’re hoping to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 and any potential burden on hospital systems as a result of COVID-19.”
The web app also provides a list of nearby testing sites and can provide estimated wait times for each site.
Anonymized data will also be made available to Vanderbilt researchers studying the spread of COVID-19.
It is important to note, the tool is designed to assess one’s risk of exposure, not diagnose COVID-19, and shouldn’t replace a conversation with a health care professional.
The tool is available here on there website.