The rapid pace of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) pandemic presents challenges to the real-time collection of population-scale data to inform near-term public health needs as well as future investigations. We established the COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) consortium to address this unprecedented crisis on behalf of the epidemiology research community. As a central component of this initiative, we have developed a COVID-19 Symptom Tracker mobile application as a common data collection tool for epidemiologic cohort studies with active study participants. This mobile application collects information on risk factors, daily symptoms, and outcomes through a user-friendly interface that minimizes participant burden. Combined with our efforts within the general population, data collected from nearly 3 million participants in the United States and United Kingdom are being used to address critical needs in the emergency response, including identifying potential hotspots of disease and clinically actionable risk factors. The linkage of symptom data collected in the app with information and biospecimens already collected in epidemiology cohorts will position us to address key questions related to diet, lifestyle, environmental and socioeconomic factors on susceptibility to COVID-19, clinical outcomes related to infection, and long-term physical, mental health, and financial sequalae. We call upon additional epidemiology cohorts to join this collective effort to strengthen our impact on the current health crisis and generate a new model for a collaborative and nimble research infrastructure that will lead to more rapid translation of our work for the betterment of public health.
Chan AT, Drew DA, Nguyen LH, Joshi AD, Ma W, Guo CG, Lo CH, Mehta RS, Kwon S, Sikavi DR, Magicheva-Gupta MV, Fatehi ZS, Flynn JJ, Leonardo BM, Albert CM, Andreotti G, Beane Freeman LE, Balasubramanian BA, Brownstein JS, Bruinsma F, Cowan AN, Deka A, Ernst ME, Figueiredo JC, Franks PW, Gardner CD, Ghobrial IM, Haiman CA, Hall JE, Deming-Halverson SL, Kirpach B, Lacey JV, Le Marchand L, Marinac CR, Martinez ME, Milne RL, Murray AM, Nash D, Palmer JR, Patel AV, Rosenberg L, Sandler DP, Sharma SV, Schurman SH, Wilkens LR, Chavarro JE, Eliassen AH, Hart JE, Kang JH, Koenen KC, Kubzansky LD, Mucci LA, Ourselin S, Rich-Edwards JW, Song M, Stampfer MJ, Steves CJ, Willett WC, Wolf J, Spector T. (2020). The COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) Consortium: A Call to Action. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology