Google launches health research app

Google introduced Wednesday that it’s launching a brand new research app for Android telephones, which might enable anybody with a tool to take part in medical research. The first examine run by means of the app, known as Google Health Studies, will have a look at respiratory sicknesses just like the flu and COVID-19.

Participants within the examine will use the app to report any respiratory signs, the precautions they’re taking to stop illness, and whether or not they’ve been examined for COVID-19 or the flu. The app will acquire demographic information, like age, gender, and race as properly. “Researchers in this study can examine trends to understand the link between mobility (such as the number of daily trips a person makes outside the home) and the spread of COVID-19,” Google wrote in a press launch.

The app will ship information to researchers utilizing a way known as federated studying, which is able to batch aggregated tendencies from a number of units, somewhat than pull info from every participant individually.

Health Studies is Google’s reply to Apple’s Research app, which runs on iOS units. Last yr, it launched research on menstrual cycles, mobility and coronary heart health, and listening to. Apple additionally lets researchers construct their very own iPhone apps by means of its ResearchPackage program.

Studies run by means of the app will include the identical caveats as research from different industrial wearable merchandise: they’ll solely enroll individuals who should buy merchandise like an Android cellphone. Aggregated information is an effective technique to shield privateness, nevertheless it means researchers aren’t capable of take a granular have a look at info.

Android cellphone customers have a decrease median earnings than iPhone customers, which is likely to be a profit for Google Health Studies. “Android represents probably a more diverse dataset [than iPhone]. We’re pretty excited about the ability to leverage that,” John Brownstein, a chief innovation officer of Boston Children’s Hospital engaged on the examine with Google, informed Stat News.

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