#53 Technology vs biology: fighting COVID 19


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As cases of COVID 19 explode, the World Health Organisation is urging countries around the world to learn from South Korea. Before even recording its first case of the virus its technology industries mobilised, enabling it to test anyone with symptoms, perform extensive contact tracing and isolate those at risk – fast. This enabled the country to protect its 51 million inhabitants as early as possible.

In the UK, two months after its first reported case of the virus, government is now working on contact tracing apps and increasing testing. But private companies are taking the lead. We talk to the developer of the UK’s first mobile app for COVID 19, healthcare start-up Zoe, which had 1.8million users within the first week of its launch. Working with Kings College London on the COVID 19 Symptom Tracker, we discover that this new tool in tracking coronavirus all began with a study on identical twins.


Ben Travers, Head of Intellectual Property and IT at Stephens Scown

Julien Lavigne du Cadet, Vice President of Engineering, Zoe


WHO Situation Updates

Oxford University: Research into COVID 19 genealogy paper

Korea’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control daily updates

Korea Central Accident Investigation Headquarters reports

61 episodes