OpenHumans.org is connecting the dots between citizen scientists and professional medical researche by providing a simple interface for users to share their health data. I was able to easily connect my years of RunKeeper, Withings and Apple Health Kit data to the openhumans site. Now all my past and future activities will be available for researchers.
Once the data sources are connected there are a number of specific studies that can be joined. Many of the studies assume that you have a specific genome kit, app or hardware such as a Jawbone. I signed up for four studies which matched my interest and data collectors.
- Keeping Pace – (84 participants) – Seeks to Study RunKeeper Data to understand how seasons and local environment influence our exercise patterns.
- Open Pokemon GO GO GO! – (28 participants) – Are you an iPhone or Fitbit user? Whether or not you played the game – let’s share our activity data for summer 2016 to explore together!
- Go Viral – (155 participants) – Participants in this viral surveillance study can get kits, then send a sample if they get sick. When possible, your analysis data is returned!
- Public Data Sharing – (475 participants) – Make your data a public resource! If you join our study, you’ll be able to turn public sharing on (and off) for individual data sources on your research data page.
One word of caution. If you are at all concerned about personal privacy there could be some conflicts. While OpenHumans does make some efforts to protect your information there are copies of the information submitted being shared. Fitness stats and genetic data are loaded with personal details.
It is free to signup and participate through OpenHumans although there could be some expenses for specific genetic studies or hardware requirements.