Google Health Studies App Launches in Partnership with Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital

By: Fred Pennic

Posted on: December 9, 2020

Category: Pediatrics

Google Health Studies App Launches in Partnership with Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital

Google Health Studies App Launches in Partnership with Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital

What You Should Know:

– Google announces the launch of its Google Health Studies App with the first study focused on respiratory illness in partnership with Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital.

– Google Health Studies aims to create opportunities for more people to participate in health research. By contributing, you’ll represent your community and start improving the future of health for everyone.

To make it easier for leading research institutions to connect with potential study participants, Google has announced the launch of the Google Health Studies app with the first study focused on respiratory illness. The app allows anyone with an Android phone to participate in health studies by answering survey questions and contributing relevant data. Google Health Studies provides a platform for researchers to reach a large and diverse population so they can better understand human health, while providing the public with greater opportunities to contribute to medical research.

Help Scientists Better Understand Respiratory Diseases

For the first study, Google has partnered with researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, which will help scientists and public health communities better understand respiratory illnesses, including influenza and COVID-19. The study utilizes federated learning and analytics—a privacy technology that keeps a person’s data stored on the device, while allowing researchers to discover aggregate insights based on encrypted, combined updates from many devices. The  technology 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, This same approach powers typing predictions on Gboard, without Google seeing what individuals type.

Help Researchers Make Advancements in Medicine and Healthcare

Respiratory Health Study is open to adults in the U.S. and will focus on identifying how types of respiratory 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. By taking part in this study, volunteers can represent their community in medical research, and contribute to global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID-19 emerging alongside seasonal respiratory pathogens, research is now needed more than ever to develop more effective treatments and mitigation strategies,” says Dr. John Brownstein, professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. “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.”

The Google Health Studies app is now available in the Google Play Store for download.

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