Visible is just one of a range of projects designed to help people with long covid. Researchers from University College London have recently created an app called Lungy, which is designed to help users with long covid, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) do breathing exercises. Another app, from the UK’s Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, has been developed to help patients log their progress so that clinicians can adjust their treatment accordingly.
Behind the numbers, there is an enormous amount of individual pain, misery, and frustration regarding medical ignorance about the condition, says Mike Clarke, a 44-year-old medical copywriter in Bristol, UK, who has been living with long covid since October 2020. He has to spend hours every day lying down because even just sitting up puts strain on his heart.
“I had a couple of particularly bad health days, and my score [on the app] the next day was appropriately low. It may not seem like much, but after two years of doctors telling me all medical tests showed that everything in my body was fine, I’ve felt more validated by the data from Visible in a week and half of use,” he says.
“After two years with absolutely no progress, most people like me with long covid are desperate for someone or something—anything—to offer hope. To me, the Visible app provides me little glimpses of that.”