Google’s Health Studies app lets Android users contribute to research

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

Given the potential sensitivity with health research, Google says the data you contribute is encrypted and stored securely on your device . You’ll also be able to see exactly what you’re contributing, and studies won’t be able to access data beyond what you consent. Google also claims your research data won’t shared or sold to advertisers, unlike most of its products. The app relies on federated learning and analytics to handle your data, which lets researchers gather aggregated and anonymized data from many devices at once.

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