News story

Speak up and help beat coronavirus (COVID-19)

Submissions for this study have now closed.

This was published under the 2019 to 2022 Johnson Conservative government

The study is now closed to new participants.

The study team would like to thank everyone who chose to take part in this research.

We have been exploring how algorithms can use voice data, including cough recordings, to detect coronavirus (COVID-19).

Using voice sounds to identify if someone is more likely to need a test could help us find more cases, and help slow the spread of COVID-19 as we follow the roadmap of easing lockdown restrictions.

The results of this study will be published in due course.

Taking part

Anyone over the age of 18 was eligible to take part in the study within 72 hours of taking a COVID-19 test (lateral flow or PCR) through one of the following routes:

  • Test and Trace COVID-19 testing programme
  • Office for National Statistics COVID-19 infection survey (ONS CIS)
  • COVID-19 challenge study (COV-CHIM01)
  • REACT COVID-19 testing research study

To take part, participants needed:

  • access to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer connected to the internet
  • either their COVID-19 NHS test kit barcode number, test ID, study ID or REACT unique access code

The study did not offer any medical advice. The sole purpose of the study was to collect research data.

Information for previous participants

Changing your mind

It was up to you to decide if you wanted to take part in this study. If you decided to take part but changed your mind when completing the form, you could exit the website at any stage. Voice recordings and information that were not submitted were not retained.

To withdraw from the study, contact and quote your NHS test barcode number, or equivalent test/study ID if you are taking part in another study. You must keep your NHS test barcode number or study ID as this is the only way we will be able to identify your data. All data collected will have the NHS test barcode number or study ID deleted from the record no later than September 2023. This means it will not be possible to locate individual submissions once this has happened.

Benefitting from taking part in the study

There were no monetary or other direct benefits to you from taking part in this study. However, your participation was a valuable contribution to research for the COVID-19 pandemic response.

If something goes wrong or you wish to complain

If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of the study, would like to report an adverse event or if you wish to complain formally, you can email

How the information will be used

We will use the information that you submitted on the website for research purposes only. Researchers will process audio files from your recordings and the information that you provide.

Review of the study

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.

Updates to this page

Published 9 March 2021
Last updated 8 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated with information on the study closing to new participants.

  2. Page updated to include new study hyperlinks and updated guidance for participants from other COVID-19 research studies.

  3. Updated with information for ONS COVID-19 infection survey (CIS) participants.

  4. Updated to include new study hyperlinks and updated guidance.

  5. Updated to remove REACT study section and add information for the COVID-19 challenge study.

  6. Updated to add a section on the REACT study.

  7. Updated to reflect the time for submitting your information after a test has been extended from 48 hours to 72 hours.

  8. Added information on how to withdraw from the study.

  9. First published.