Google has announced this week the launch of a new app to support clinical research studies.
The app has been launched in a bid to support research institutions with greater participation and engagement in health research. The first study through the app, is focused on respiratory illness, such as COVID-19.
With the new app, anyone with an Android phone can take part in health studies by answering survey questions and contributing relevant data. The app is hoped to provide a platform for researchers to reach a large and diverse population so they can better understand health, while providing the public with greater opportunities to contribute to medical research.
The company has said that all data is protected with their advanced security, and all information is encrypted and research data is stored securely.
Initially the Respiratory Health Study will be open to adults in the U.S., and will focus on identifying how these types of illnesses evolve in communities and differ across risk factors such as age, and activities such as travel.
Study participants will use the Google Health Studies app to regularly self-report how they feel, what symptoms they may be experiencing, any preventative measures they’ve taken, and additional information such as COVID-19 or influenza test results. This study is in partnership with Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dr John Brownstein, professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital, said: “With COVID-19 emerging alongside seasonal respiratory pathogens, research is now needed more than ever to develop more effective treatments and mitigation strategies.”
“Google Health Studies provides people with a secure and easy way to take part in medical research, while letting researchers discover novel epidemiological insights into respiratory diseases.”
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