Daily Health Self-Assessment Using the CVKey Application

What is CVKey?

To provide an easier and more private option for students, faculty, staff, campus visitors and vendors to daily assess their health and access campus buildings, KU partnered with a non-profit organization founded by Brian McClendon to use the CVKey symptom checker mobile app. Brian is a KU alumnus, former Vice President at Google and current KU Research Professor in the School of Engineering. He pulled together a team of volunteer experts from around the world to develop the app to help communities more safely reopen during COVID-19. The CVKey Project Council of Advisors includes former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who also served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Perry Alexander, KU AT&T Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Information and Telecommunications Technology Center.

KU helped pilot the CVKey app in summer 2020. All students, faculty, staff, visitors and vendors must use the app (or a paper-based alternative) to daily assess their health before entering campus buildings.


About the Pilot Project

The pilot project began on the KU Lawrence campus on June 8 at six research buildings for individuals approved to work in those designated campus buildings. During the pilot, individuals who were approved to work on campus used the app to daily assess whether they were at risk of novel coronavirus exposure and what actions to take if they were. Individuals used the mobile app to complete the health status assessment that is required each time before entering a building. Those who chose not to use the mobile app were required to complete a paper health assessment form before entering their building.

During the summer pilot, the scanning function was performed by staff stationed at the entrances of each of the research buildings. During the full implementation for fall semester, iPad-based kiosks were installed at building entrances to provide for automated QR code scanning.

App Functions & Advantages

Prior to a KU community member leaving their home, that individual should complete the daily health assessment questionnaire through the CVKey app. Once the questionnaire is complete, the app will produce a QR code. The person must scan this QR code at a kiosk before entering any building on campus. If they "pass" (a green light) based on their answers to the health assessment, they may enter the building. If they “fail” (answers to one or more questions indicate a risk) the app provides them with directions for seeking advice from a health care professional. The system is reliant upon the integrity and truthfulness of each person.

The self-assessment and health-related information is strictly confined to the individual’s mobile device. No personal health data is shared or stored outside the mobile device. The only information provided through the QR code scanning by the kiosk (or staff monitor) is a simple yes or no indication of whether the person’s health assessment meets the criteria to enter the building that day. The app cannot be used for other functions, including location tracking or contact tracing. Other features include:

  • Available for Android and iOS phones.
  • Health information is not shared outside the person's mobile device.
  • Individuals can complete the self-assessment at home and know before leaving if their health status allows access to campus buildings.
  • Streamlined entry into the building.
  • App is automatically updated with information on COVID-19 symptoms and the latest restrictions and mandates by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.


The primary tool for the CVKey app is a self-assessment questionnaire (or “symptom checker”). This questionnaire is populated with health guidelines as defined by the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department. The questions asks about positive COVID-19 test, symptoms indicative of COVID-19, close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and travel to known hot-spots.

The CVKey App

The CVKey app asks questions regarding your current state of health and your travel history. The test is quick and easy and should take you less than one minute to complete.

Download CVKey

CVKey Screenshot