In the competition with its rival, Apple, Google has also stepped towards launching its health application. The company has made a significant move into health research and announced that it would unveil a new smartphone application. This application will allow Android users to participate remotely in medical studies.
On Wednesday, 9th December, Google made an official announcement that it will be launching a new research app for Android phones which will allow anyone to take part in medical studies. The first study to be run on the app is known as Google Health Studies, which will analyze respiratory illnesses like CVOID-19 and Flu. For this, Google has collaborated with researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. This research will evaluate the spread of diseases and pay specific attention to how participants’ demographics and behavior influence their chances of falling ill.
The app launched will collect the demographic data of users such as gender, age, location, and race. According to Google, the researchers can make use of this data to study the relationship between mobility and the spread of COVID-19. With the help of the federated learning technique, the data will be sent to the researchers, which will arrange aggregated trends from different devices rather than collecting information individually from each participant. The participants will self-report in the app about how they feel, what the symptoms are, what preventive measures they have taken, or other information related to their COVID test results.
While making the app, Google focused on three main principles: private, safe, and secure data. When the users are making use of the app, their data will be protected with the company’s advanced security. The data of research is stored securely, and all the information is encrypted. Google has also given transparency and control to the participants over their information.
Since Android users typically have a low median income as compared to iPhone users, the data will cover a diversity of participants, which will help in establishing more precise results and findings.