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18th Sep, 2021

Volunteers Wanted: Speak up and help beat COVID-19

Evesham Editorial 1st Sep, 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care are seeking volunteers to take part in a study at the forefront of new and emerging science and technology.

  • Take 5 minutes of your time to submit your voice sounds and contribute to COVID-19 research.
  • The  Department of Health and Social Care will then explore how algorithms can use voice data, including cough recordings, to detect COVID-19.
  • Using voice sounds to identify if someone is more likely to need a test could help find more cases, and help slow the spread of COVID-19 as the Government follow the roadmap of easing lockdown restrictions.

Taking part

Anyone over the age of 18 who has had a COVID-19 test (lateral flow or PCR) within the past 72 hours can take part.

You’ll need your NHS test barcode ID to take part. If you used an at-home test kit you must have registered your result online.

If you’d like to take part in this study and have recently had an NHS COVID-19 test you should use your own laptop, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet to visit If your test was part of another study, see the ‘Already taking part in COVID-19 research’ section for more information.

You’ll then be asked:

  • to read and accept a privacy notice that explains how your information will be used

    for your agreement to take part in the study

  • The form will ask a few basic questions about you and your health. These questions, such as your height or first language, are all things that can affect how your voice sounds.

You’ll need to record a short series of sounds using the microphone on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

This will include a forced cough, breathing sounds and a defined sentence. Guidance on screen will help you through these steps. It should take you 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

This study will not offer any medical advice. The sole purpose of the study is to collect research data.

To take part, you need:

  • a smartphone or tablet, laptop or desktop computer
  • to be connected to the internet
  • your COVID-19 NHS test kit barcode number (this should be an 11-character code in the format ABC12345678), or if you are taking part in another study your test ID or study ID (these may be in a different character code format)

It is important that you submit your information no later than 72 hours after your COVID-19 test.

You should only submit your voice sounds while you are alone. Do not submit your voice sounds if you are in a vehicle or room with any other people.

The information that you submit on the website will be for research purposes only. Researchers will process audio files from your recordings and the information that you provide. You can learn more about the use of information collected as part of this study by reading the privacy notice on the study website.


The National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee and the Cambridge South and Nottingham NHS Research Ethics Committee have approved this study. Findings of the study will be published in due course. For more details please click here.


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