UW Medicine recruiting app users to help predict next outbreak

SEATTLE — Your phone could be used as part of a new study to help predict a future virus outbreak.

UW Medicine is recruiting people across the US to test an app that’s intended to predict outbreaks of infections such as cold, flu, or another coronavirus outbreak.

The app is called HIPPOCRATIC -- Health and Injury Prediction and Prevention Using Complex Reasoning and Analytic Techniques Integrated on a Cellphone App.

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UW is looking for 25,000 volunteers. People are recruited for 12 weeks at a time, and are asked to record their symptoms daily. The process takes about a minute.

Researchers say the information will give them a better idea of how people move around, and ultimately, how disease can spread.

“Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it’s actually a really useful time for us to collect information to build out the predictive signal, or the predictive algorithm from the phone so that we can start to test it again in the fall and in the winter months,” said Patricia Areàn, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The app was originally being worked on in collaboration with the Department of Defense to track cold and flu season, but has been shifted to work on COVID-19.

The tests will take two years, but volunteers will only be actively using the app for 3 months and can get paid to take part.

Enroll here and get more information on the app at this link.