Promoting public health participation through an innovative mobile app

CoughWatchSA is a mobile application where users can register and report symptoms for acute respiratory tract infection (ARI) potentially associated with COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens.

The aim of this platform is to identify and monitor acute respiratory tract infections (ARI) which may potentially include influenza, RSV and COVID19. South Africa may have reached its peak in the cumulative number of cases, but there may be a potential for a second wave of infections. In addition to this, the influenza season has not begun in South Africa and CoughWatchSA may assist in detecting early on the onset of the second wave of COVID19 cases or the beginning of the influenza season. This platform will run as a pilot for the remainder of this year and will be officially launched as a complementary surveillance platform to current disease surveillance systems.

App Features

Weekly symptom checker

COVID-19 Global and Local trends


Influenza Season Timing


CoughWatchSA is an online health monitoring system, in which anyone in South Africa can take part. Participants are asked to report any symptoms each week in order to identify possible new spreads of COVID-19 (and other respiratory infections). 

Yes. All data is completely anonymized upon submission, it will not be possible to link the information provided to any individual or household.

After being anonymized, data is stored in a secure data lake on our servers (AWS in South Africa). Something about separate architectures for processing the app inputs from the actual data input server.

Two groups benefit from this information immediately. First, citizens like yourself, who gain access to valuable information about health in your community. This information allows you to prepare and react quickly to risks in your community. Second, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, for the purpose of preparation, outbreak detection, and targeted response.

No, the app is not designed to offer medical advice or assistance. If you suspect that you have COVID19, please contact your nearest health care provider

Anyone over the age of 18 can participate today.

The system works best with consistent responses from survey users, even if they are healthy in a given week.

Our model is for a circular flow of data. By providing us with your health information, you in turn gain access to valuable information about health in your community through a dashboard and visualizations.

Yes, please invite as many others as you can. More data means more powerful models and better outputs and results.

CoughWatchSA is designed for long-term surveillance of respiratory diseases beyond COVID19, whereas the applications that have been for COVID19 have a specific purpose like contact tracing, symptom tracking and self-screening, which may not be long-term

For CoughWatchSA related queries

Contact Mvuyo Makhasi