What's the goal of the Quantified Flu?

The question we want to answer is: Can the various physiological parameters tracked by our wearables help to predict when we’re getting sick? This question equally applies to the flu and the common cold!

There is some preliminary data which shows that the data from wearables (like resting heart rate and sleep quality) might be predictive of coming down with a cold. Which offers a great opportunity for a collective citizen science approach!

Our approach

Do you have a wearable that you use regularly? And maybe even have used it in the past, while you were sick? We would love to collect those data and analyze them with your help!

There are two ways you can use Quantified Flu:

  1. Report past illnesses: Report when you got sick in the past and share your wearable device data. We'll make a plot of your data for you!
  2. Track symptoms going forward: Sign up for daily check-ins to tell us if you got sick, your symptoms and viral test results.

In the longer run we want to use these data to learn whether all those wearable signals can be used to train algorithms to predict when someone is falling sick, before the person is even consciously aware of it.

Who will be able to access the aggregated data?

We plan to share the aggregated and de-identified data with individual researchers, for the expressed purpose of:

  • correlating the wearable data with the onset of sickness events
  • gaining a better understanding of how sickness impacts our bodies prior and after onset
  • building predictive models that use wearable data to forecast falling sick
In the long run we also want to provide the de-identified aggregate data as a public archive to maximize its use. If you don't want your data to be shared with others you can opt-out of sharing at any point by changing your account settings.

Which wearables are supported?

Right now we support the following wearable devices:

  • All wearables by Fitbit
  • The Oura Ring
There are many popular wearables, so if your wearable of choice is missing: Let us know via email or by joining our Slack. If you're a programmer and would like to add support for your own wearable: Amazing!

Something looks weird/doesn't work on the website?

We're so sorry for that! We launched this website extremely quickly as we thought: the best day to start collecting data was yesterday. The second-best day to start collecting data is today.

This means this page is a prototype that's under on-going development. Please let us know what's broken or weird via email or by joining our Slack!

Who's behind this?

This effort and the website are being run and maintained by Mad Price Ball (Executive Director of the Open Humans Foundation) & Bastian Greshake Tzovaras (Research Fellow at the Center for Research & Interdisciplinarity in Paris), on behalf of the Open Humans Foundation.

This project is covered by the Open Humans' Terms of Use and Data Use Policy. You can always get in touch with us at support@openhumans.org.

Thanks & Acknowledgements

Financial support for this project comes from the Open Humans Foundation (funding for the technical infrastructure and time of Mad Price Ball), as well as the CRI Paris (time of Bastian Greshake Tzovaras).

Furthermore, many people volunteered and contributed to ideating and realizing this project, including the Quantified Self forum, and the discussions of the Open Humans community calls.

Amongst many others, our thanks go to:

I want to get more involved, are there more ways to contribute?

That is amazing, thank you so much for that. There are multiple further ways to help out and we're looking for people in all areas. Some easy ways to get involved are:

  • Spread the word! Let others know that this exists!
  • Join our Slack! Chat with others interested in the #QuantifiedFlu channel
  • Improve this website! There are open issues like improving the data visualizations, support for more wearables etc. Look at our issues on GitHub
  • Analyze data! Once we start aggregating data we'll need data scientists willing to help us go through the data! Get in touch with us to learn more!

Data management

This site can access and store various types of data for visitors and associated with connected accounts.

When you connect an Oura and/or Fitbit account, this site will access the following data and store it as an archive in your Open Humans account.

  1. Your profile (age, weight, gender)
  2. Your sleep records
  3. Your activity records
  4. Your readiness records

The site also stores the following data when you connect accounts from Oura and Open Humans.

  1. an anonymous identifier for your Open Humans account
  2. authentication credentials that allow us to read & write your Oura archive on Open Humans
  3. authentication credentials that allow us to read your data from Oura

Finally, this site's hoster Heroku stores and gives us access to the IP addresses of visitors, and pages visited on this site. These logs may be stored for up to a week.

You can always delete your account and all associated data from the Dashboard. This includes the Open Humans and Oura/Fitbit authentication credentials, i.e. we won't be able to access your Open Humans & Oura/Fitbit accounts any longer.

Removing the authorization on Open Humans does not automatically delete your Oura archive on Open Humans; if you want this to occur, you should delete your account here before withdrawing from this project in the Open Humans site.