After the outbreak of a disease like Covid-19 about which people were not aware of, it has become necessary to educate the world about diseases, their intensity, mode of transmission and how they can affect our lives. When Covid-19 became a pandemic, the majority of the people heard the name of disease for the first time. We never know what else is left for us to witness in the coming years, hence enlightening ourselves is extremely crucial.
Google observed the situation well and hence came up with the idea of developing a research app that allows the users to participate in the medical studies. The first study in the app is known as ‘Google Health Studies’ and will teach about respiratory diseases such as Covid-19 and flu. All the participants of the study will be allowed to report any sort of respiratory symptoms they have been experiencing, what precautionary measures they are taking and whether or not they have tested for flu or Covid-19. Other demographic data, including gender, age and race, will also be collected in the application.
The collected data will be then sent to a bunch of researches through a technique known as ‘federated learning’. This helps the researchers to examine and understand trends through batch data instead of extracting information individually from all the participants.
People with an android device can enroll themselves easily in the study. Android phones are more affordable for the people rather than iPhones which creates a more diverse dataset for the researches to work on for health studies.
Google has introduced its Health Studies as competition to Apple’s Research app, which was designed specifically for iOS devices. In 2019, Apple’s research app provided studies on menstrual cycles, heart health and hearing. Apple allows the researches to develop their own applications for iOS devices through ResearchKit Program.