About the Track-COVID study

1. What does the research involve?

To participate in the research, you will complete a short online survey (taking about 5 minutes to complete) looking at what students think is important in helping them deal with the threat of COVID-19. 

You will also be asked to download an app on your phone. This app works in the background of smartphones, so once it has been installed and activated you don’t have to do anything. It uses Bluetooth and GPS to collect information on how busy the environment is around you. We will be using this information to help us understand which situations affect your risk of getting COVID-19. 

You might also be asked to take part in an online interview (one-to-one discussion) or focus group to help us learn more about students’ views on the app and the COVID-19 testing programme more broadly. 


2. How many people are doing this and why are you asking me?

A: You are invited to take part in this study because you are a student registered at the University of Nottingham. Any student can take part. We are trying to recruit around 2,000 students. 


3. Do I have to be part of the university’s COVID-19 testing programme to take part?

A: No, you don’thave to be part of the testing programme to take part in this. We are interested in the experiences of all students, regardless of whether they are part of the University’s testing programme or have had a COVID-19 test.


4. What will you do with my details?  

A: We will ask for your university email address and your student ID so that we can contact you about this research and ensure that all the data you provide can be linked in a secure way. Your email address will not be passed to any third parties and will be removed from your answers before we look at your data (to make sure it’s anonymous). 


5. Who will see my survey data?

A: No personal data will be shared. Only the research team will have access to your survey responses and to your contact information. You will never be personally identifiable in any reports or publications - all of your survey responses will be made anonymous. 


6. Can you give me some details about COVID-19, or advice on social distancing, or guidelines?

A: Information about COVID-19 and social distancing can be found on the UoN website: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/coronavirus/


7. Where can I find out more information about this study?

A: You can find more information about this study on our study website: https://www.trackcoviduk.com/

Alternatively, you can find us on Facebook @trackcovid.uon or Twitter @trackcovid_uk

Our social media links can be found at the bottom of the website.

About the app

8. Where can I download the app?

A: If you are an Android user, please follow the instructions here to download the app: https://www.trackcoviduk.com/download-the-app-for-android

Currently the app only works on Android phones, although we are hoping to have an Apple version available soon. You can still complete the survey online if you are an Apple user, and we will be in touch shortly once we have the app available on the Apple store.


9. How does the app work?

A: The app uses Bluetooth to allow GPS data collection. As with other navigation apps, our app allows us to calculate your geographic location using GPS satellites. Because of this, we ask that you keep your Bluetooth on so that we can accurately locate you.


** If you turn off your phone, we ask that you restart the app once you turn your phone on again. To do this, you just need to open the app wherever it is saved on your phone **


10. What’s the difference between this app and the NHS COVID-19 app?

A: There are a couple of differences. First, you don’t need to do anything with this app once it has been set up, it will just run in the background of your phone. Second, this app can collect information about the environment around you, even if people around you aren’t users of this app. 


11. How do I set up the app on my phone?

A: Please follow the instructions here to download and set up your app:https://www.trackcoviduk.com/download-the-app-for-android

If you have any problems downloading or setting up the app, please contact the research team at trackcovid@nottingham.ac.uk


12. I switched off my phone or lost phone signal. Do I need to restart the app? 

A: Yes. The app does not re-start automatically when you turn off your phone, run out of battery, or lose signal for a long period of time. 

To restart the app, you should find the app in your applications list or home screen, and click on it to reopen the app.


13. Can I stop notifications from the app?

A: Yes. To do this, go to your phone Settings, then tap on Notifications. Look for the “RADAR-Base passive Remote Monitoring” and tap on it. Here, you can block all the notifications for the app and the Bluetooth icon will disappear. 


14. How do I close the app?

A: Go to your phone main screen and click on the Settings icon. Once there go to “Apps”. 

In the “Apps” folder, find the “RADAR-Base passive Remote Monitoring” app and tap on it. Then, press the “force stop” button.

** If you close the app, please make sure you reopen the app again once you are able. **

RADAR 2 .jpg

15. How long am I expected to have the app on my phone for?

A: It depends how many people take part in this study. We need a large amount of people for the data to make sense. Therefore, please keep the app active (connected to Bluetooth) on your phone for this term. 


16. I’m worried about being individually tracked. How will my privacy and safety be ensured? 

A: The purpose of this app is not about monitoring you. Instead, we are hoping to investigate the environment around you. The app will collect information about how busy the environment is around you, but not your individual information. Your data will be stored anonymously and securely at UoN as well. It will not be possible to identify you in any outputs (like research papers) from this research.


17. Where is my data stored? 

A: It is stored in a password protected computer within UoN.

18. I can see a Bluetooth symbol in my notification area. Should I be concerned? 

A: No. This is just a reminder that the app uses Bluetooth in the background of your phone.


19. I believe my battery is being consumed quicker than usual. Is this normal?

A: Most people have not experienced problems with this, but some users can experience higher battery consumption. However, we have only found this to be a problem with older smart phones or when people are in remote rural locations. This is because your phone is using GPS constantly to find a mobile tower. If you are likely to be in such a location, you may want to close your app (see question 14) for the duration to stop the battery draining. 

** If you close the app, please make sure you reopen the app again once you are able. **


20. Will the app use up lots of my data plan?

A: The app will only use mobile data when you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network. However, the app itself uses a very minimal amount of data, so it won’t significantly impact your monthly data allowance even if you’re not on a Wi-Fi network.


21. When I open the app, instead of “last upload…” the message states “upload failed” what should I do?

A: Firstly, make sure you are connected to either your mobile network or WIFI. If this does not solve it, close the app (see question 14) and open it up again. If this problem persists, contact the research team at: trackcovid@nottingham.ac.uk


22. I got a message saying the code has been used or expired. What should I do?

A: Please contact trackcovid@nottingham.ac.ukto generate a new QR code. You might want to just copy and paste the following text into your email:


Subject: QR CODE resend request

Text: Please resend me my QR code

My student ID is: XXXXXXXX


23. I am seeing the “scan code” screen again. What should I do?


A: Please contact trackcovid@nottingham.ac.ukto generate a new QR code. You might want to just copy and paste the following text:


Subject: QR CODE resend request

Text: Please resend me my QR code

My student ID is: XXXXXXXX


24. There are grey action buttons, but they do not work. What is their purpose? 

A: This is normal and means your app is working well. The buttons are only informative and do not require you to do anything once you have installed the app.

25. Where do I go if there's a problem with the app?

A: Please contact the research team directly via email  trackcovid@nottingham.ac.uk