Fight COVID-19 through
the Power of People

With limited test kits and slow results turnaround, we are trying to find out if information from wearable devices can help detect COVID-19 before symptoms emerge.

Many COVID-19 cases are spread asymptomatically. With limited test kits and slow results turnaround, we are trying to find out if information from wearable devices, like Fitbit and Apple Watch, can be used to track infectious diseases like COVID-19.

We are making progress and moving into the next phase!

Who Should Join

We are currently looking for people who own a wearable device, and:

  • Have had a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or
  • Have been exposed to somebody who has known or suspected COVID-19, or
  • Are at higher risk of exposure (like healthcare workers or grocery store workers).
Does this sound like you?
Know someone who might be interested in this?
Share this page with them!

At this time, we are not enrolling people who do not fall into these categories, but we plan to expand in the near future. Please come back here to check again soon!

We are seeking developers, data scientists, and designers interested to work remotely to help quickly scale the PHD platform. Visit our Jobs page or get in touch with us.

Compatible Devices

  1. Our study currently supports: Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung Galaxy Watch, Apple Watch, Oura Ring.and
    • Have had a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19; or
    • Have had a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19; or
    • Are at higher risk of exposure (like healthcare workers or grocery store workers).

How It Works

Collect Data

Our research in 2017 shows data colleted from wearables can help detect infectious illness days before symptoms emerge.

Establish Baseline

With your consent, we will collect your health information via daily survey and wearable devices for days to estabilish a baseline for detecting COVID-19.

Predict & Protect

Our algorithm picks up abnormal patterns that deviates from your baseline to predict and detect possible infections.

WHAT YOU WILL DO

  1. Enroll and download the app.

    Enroll and wait for an invite to download the app. Once set up, we will be able to receive your data and start monitoring your health vitals.

  2. Continue to wear your device.

    Continue to wear your wearable device to keep track of your health measurements: heart rate, movement, skin temperature, etc.

  3. Answer check-in survey daily.

    Help us understand the collected data by answering a few routine check-in questions in less than 3 minutes. Participate consistantly to help us validate algorithm that detects COVID-19 before sympotms occur. The sooner we deploy the app that sends infection alert to individuals, the more lives we can save together.

WHAT WE PROMISE

A gold standard for safety

Our data collection app MyPHD was designed based on Stanford’s gold-standard of data privacy and security. Your data is safe with us.

Your data is secure

This study has been approved by the Chief Security and Privacy Officers of Stanford University, and has been rigorously vetted by the Stanford Institutional Review Board.

Your contribution is valuable

Your data directly contributes towards validating our early infection warning system. This could support a safer re-opening of the economy, since it would allow people to self-isolate as opposed to unwittingly spreading the disease when they are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic.

You are in good company

We are proud to join force with industry leaders like Garmin and Fitbit to improve healthcare for everyone.

We are here for you

Your participation is voluntary and you have the right to withdraw your consent or discontinue participation at any time. We also are happy to answer your questions.

Related Resources

4YouandMe

Study: Stress & Recovery in Frontline Healthcare COVID-19 Workers

If you are a frontline health care worker, you might be interested in a companion study being hosted by 4YouandMe that looks at Stress and Recovery and offers OURA rings to the first 400 participants

Fitbit

COVID-19 Resource Hub for the Fitbit Community

Fitbit is introducing a new tab in the Fitbit app to give users access to helpful information, motivation, and resources about COVID-19.

Survivor Corps

Survivor Corps is a grassroots movement connecting, educating and mobilizing COVID-19 survivors with the medical, scientific and academic research community, to help stem the tide of this pandemic and assist in the national recovery.

Stanford & COVID-19: How You Can Help

Stanford is working urgently to treat patients, conduct vital research, support our community, and advance all fronts of the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out how you can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Participation Eligibility & Enrollment

Who is eligible to participate?

We are currently looking for people who own a wearable device, and:

  • Have had a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or
  • Have been exposed to somebody who has known or suspected COVID-19, or
  • Are at higher risk of exposure (like healthcare workers or grocery store workers).

If any of these apply to you, please enroll here.

What kind of wearable device is required for the study?

You will need a smartphone and a wearable such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, Empatica, Garmin, Oura Ring, or most other wearable devices that measure heart rate. If not, please consider enrolling if you purchase a device in the near future.

Note: Garmin devices currently do not work on MyPHD app via Android phones. Our team is working to improve this.

How do I get enrolled in the study?

Please start enrolling by filling out enrollment surveys here.

You'll be redirected to our consent form page, where you can read more about what is involved and decide whether you agree to take part.

If you decide to enroll in the study, the whole process may take approximately 10-15min of your time. Please make sure to complete all of the surveys.

Once you are enrolled in the study, you will receive instructions to download the MyPHD app from the App Store/Google Play.

The MyPHD app, where you can easily link your wearable devices, is created by our bioinformatic team at Stanford University.

We will use it to collect data from your wearable device and your daily symptom information to track onset and progression of infectious diseases, including the COVID-19. Our goal is to be able to predict the onset of infection before the actual symptoms start.

What if I don’t fit into the current criteria to participate now?

At this time, we are not enrolling people who do not meet the eligibility criteria, but we plan to open to include people who were:

  • not sick in the past 6 months, or
  • sick with other diseases (eg, common cold or flu).

If you are in these two categories, please come back in a few weeks to see if you can enroll.

I think I had COVID-19 / I had symptoms of COVID-19 recently. Can I enroll?

If you had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 between November 2019 and now (including but not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell) and you know the approximate dates that you had those symptoms, then you would be a good candidate for the study. Please enroll here.

I’ve been experiencing symptoms that sound like a ‘suspected’ case. Do you think my symptoms could have been COVID-19?

Please note, this research study team cannot diagnose whether or not your symptoms were because of COVID-19 infection. If you had symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell since November 2019 we can consider this “suspected” for the purposes of enrollment in this study.

If you are interested in participating, as long as you have a wearable device (eg Fitbit, Apple Watch, other) that you have been wearing while you were sick and know the dates that you were sick, you would be a great candidate for the study.

On the first page of enrollment surveys, there will be two questions asking:

  • “Have you had a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?” – please answer “yes”.
  • “COVID-19 confirmed or suspected?” – please answer “Suspected”.

I’d like to participate, but I can’t want to wear my wearable device all the time.

Please still consider enrolling, and wear your device as much as is possible/comfortable.

As much information as we can collect is valuable, although we appreciate that it might not be possible for you to wear your device all the time.

Can the Galaxy Watch be used for the study?

If you are a iOS user, you will need to have both Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Watch app and Samsung Health app installed so that the MyPHD app can collect the health data. Please also make sure your Samsung Health app is connected to Apple Health - you can check this at "Data Access & Devices" under Settings/Health in your iPhone. For Android users, the MyPHD app currently only supports Fitbit, but we will have Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Watch support on Android soon.

I’d like to participate but I don’t own a wearable device. Can you provide me one?

Currently, we are only enrolling people who already have their own wearable device and meet the eligibility criteria. Please consider enrolling if you purchase a device in the near future.

I forgot to enter some information in the enrollment survey. What should I do?

Please email us the information at stanford_covid19_wearables@stanford.edu and we will enter it in the survey for you.

Can my friend/spouse/family member enroll too?

If they meet the eligibility criteria, they can enroll via the website.

Please do not provide the friend/spouse/family member’s contact details to us. For privacy reasons, we cannot reach out to them directly. Please ask them to visit our website to find out if they are eligible, or use our enrollment surveys to start the enrollment.

Does this study enroll non-English speakers?

Currently, we can enroll people who can consent in English. If you can read and understand the consent form in English, please go to our website to enroll. We hope that in the future we can include other languages too.

2. How to Participate & What to Do During The Study

What is the purpose of this research study?

We are trying to establish if data collected from wearable devices can be used to predict the onset of an infectious disease such as COVID-19 before the actual symptoms start. We will collect data such as step count, body movement, electrical changes in the skin related to stress (galvanic skin response, GSR), skin temperature, your location (global positioning system, GPS), the amount of oxygen in your blood, your blood pressure, the quality of your sleep. We have previously shown that wearables data such as heart rate can be used for early detection of infectious disease, even before the appearance of symptoms. We are trying to apply this approach for early detection of COVID-19.

Can I get tested for COVID-19 (or COVID-19 antibodies) through this study?

No, you cannot get COVID-19 testing through this study. This is a research study where we are trying to establish if data collected from wearable devices can be used to predict the onset and progression of COVID-19.  Being part of a research study helps the medical community understand COVID-19 better and may benefit others. It is not a replacement for your own medical care. If you have any concerns about symptoms or questions about your own medical care please contact your doctor.

How do I get started as a participant?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can enroll in the study here. Please follow these steps:

  1. You'll be redirected to our consent form page, where you can read more about what is involved and decide whether you agree to take part.
  2. You'll be prompted to read and sign the consent documents and answer some questions about your medical history and current and past symptoms. Please take 5-10 minutes to complete all the surveys.
  3. You will receive an email with instructions to download the MyPHD app from the App Store/Google Play. The app was created by our bioinformatic team at Stanford University. We will use it  to collect data from your wearable device and your daily symptom information to track onset and progression of infectious diseases, including the COVID-19. Our goal is to be able to predict the onset of infection before the actual symptoms start.
  4. Follow the instruction video in the app to link your wearable device with the app.
  5. You will be asked to fill in a symptom survey regularly and keep wearing your wearable device as much as possible.

Even if you don’t fit the eligibility criteria at the moment, we are planning to expand this study. Please come back to visit our website again soon.

Can I participate in the study without signing a research consent form or Authorization to Use Your Health Information For Research Purposes form?

No. Information about you and your health is personal and private, it cannot be used in this research study without your written authorization. Your information will only be used in accordance with this authorization form and the consent form and as required by law.

What do I do during the study as a participant?

You will be asked to continuously wear your wearable device and share the data collected by the device with the study team. The devices will be worn or used every day, for up to 24 hours per day, up to 24 months. You will be able to remove the devices for part of each day as needed and when you feel comfortable doing so.

To do so, we will ask you to download the MyPHD app, created by our bioinformatic team in Dr. Snyder’s lab at Stanford, where you can easily link your wearable devices. The app, once properly installed in your phone, will be able to link to your device and automatically collect the data. In addition, we will invite you to fill out a daily symptom survey, either online or using the app. The survey should take no more than 1-2 minutes to fill out.

I had symptoms previously. How should I enter that information?

Once you enroll, you will be prompted to complete several surveys, one of which will ask about past symptoms. It would be very helpful if you include in that survey whatever you can remember about your previous symptoms.

Do I have to fill in the symptom survey every day? I am healthy, I don’t have any symptoms.

We do ask that you fill in the symptom survey ideally every day. We are hoping to obtain the most accurate information from each participant that would be able to even detect minor changes in health status on a day to day basis. Of course, if you forget or choose not to fill in the symptom survey some days that is okay.

I don’t have time for all the things you are asking me. What should I do?

Please let us know which you prefer of the below 3 options:

  1. Stay in the study and just wear your watch when you want and completing the daily survey on a less regular basis (eg. only when you are feeling sick);
  2. Not be part of the study anymore, but the study team can keep the data collected so far. For example, we may keep your email address in case you chose the option on the consent form to be contacted for other research opportunities in future.
  3. Not be part of the study anymore, and have all your identifying information removed from our database. We will delete any personal identifiers but we can’t promise we can delete all your de-identified wearable data.  

If you choose option 2 or 3, please make sure to log out from MyPHD app and delete it from your device(s).

How long do I need to keep completing the surveys / sharing my wearables data?

Your participation in the study may take up to 24 months. We will send the daily survey during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but when things will get better (hopefully soon!), we may decrease to once a week or less. It would be valuable to collect the wearables data for up to 2 years. Your participation in the study is entirely voluntary and you can withdraw from the study at any time.

Can I change my device during the study? (i.e., can I buy a new Fitbit or do I have to keep using my old one?)

You can change your device during the study. Please make sure to buy one that measures heart rate, and to notify us via email.

What if I decide to stop participating in this study before the study ends?

Your participation is voluntary and you have the right to withdraw any time. Please let us know which you prefer:

  1. Not be part of the study anymore but we can keep the data collected so far. For example, we may keep your email address in case you chose the option on the consent form to be contacted for other research opportunities in future.
  2. Not be part of the study anymore and have all your identifying information removed from our database. We will delete any personal identifiers but we can’t promise we can delete all your de-identified wearable data.

Please make sure to log out from MyPHD app and delete it from your device(s).

3. Consent, Authorization & Data Privacy

How will my health information be utilized in the study?

You are invited to participate in a research study on wearable devices that are able to measure physiological data, (i.e. steps, accelerometer, skin temperature, heart rate, GPS, and other). We intend to enroll people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or those who have been in contact with somebody who tested positive. We are trying to establish if data collected from these type of devices (such as heart rate), can be used to predict the advent of an infectious disease (such as COVID-19) before the actual symptoms start. You will be asked to wear a fitness tracker, and share the data collected by the device with the study team.

What data is being collected?

We will collect data from wearable devices, such as step count, body movement, electrical changes in the skin related to stress (galvanic skin response, GSR), skin temperature, your location (global positioning system, GPS), the amount of oxygen in your blood, your blood pressure, the quality of your sleep.

In addition, we will ask you to report past and current symptoms (eg. fever, sore throat) via symptom survey on the MyPHD app.

Additionally, if you agree, we would ask your permission to collect medical record information from you.

How will my personal data be stored?

The data will be secured by Stanford University and only accessed by the study team.

How does the study protect my privacy when data is released/disclosed?

Once your identifiers (such as name, date of birth, address etc) are removed from the research data, the research data may be shared publicly. For example the research data may be put in a public database for other researchers to use.

In simpler words, is my data secured?

The data will be collected from the wearable device(s) itself or the device company’s server and stored on secure Stanford University servers. In the context of the MyPHD app, which has been data risk approved by Stanford University, we have established a secure computational and storage framework to minimize any risks to your privacy.

Who may receive, use or disclose my health information?

Aside from the research team, some other parties may need to have access to some study information. More details are provided in the consent form.

The following parties are authorized to use and/or disclose your health information in connection with this research study:

  • The Protocol Director Dr. Michael P Snyder
  • The Stanford University Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research and any other unit of Stanford University as necessary
  • Research Staff

Who should I contact within the research team for questions, concerns or complaints about this research study?

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about this research, its procedures, risks and benefits, please contact the study team at stanford_covid19_wearables@stanford.edu.

Who should I contact if I’m not satisfied with how this study is being conducted, or if I have any concerns, complaints, or general questions about the research or my rights as a participant?

Please contact the Stanford Institutional Review Board (IRB) to speak to someone independent of the research team at 650-723-2480 or toll free at 1-866-680-2906. You can also write to the Stanford IRB, Stanford University, 1705 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

5. The MyPHD App

What is the MyPHD app?

The study app, where you can easily link your wearable devices, is created by Dr. Snyder’s lab at Stanford University. It is used in this study to collect physiological data from your wearable device and correlate this with any symptoms you report. Within the app, there is a daily symptom/check-in survey, which should take no more than 1-2 minutes to fill out.

What should I do if the app crashes?

This issue can be solved by un-installing and then re-installing the app. We are constantly working on improving the app.

Is the app available for iOS and Android?

Yes. The app is available for both iOS and Android.

I have joined the study, and have not received any instructions about the MyPHD app. What do I do?

You should receive instructions about how to download and  log into the app once you complete the enrollment process. Note that you will be asked to fill out several surveys. Please contact the study team at stanford_covid19_wearables@stanford.edu if you completed all the surveys and still did not receive the instructions  for the app.

I’m confused about how to download, log in, and use the app. What do I do?

Please watch the tutorial video which goes through the instructions for downloading, installing and using the app: MyPHD_Tutorial.

If after watching the tutorial video you still have questions, please reach out to us at stanford_covid19_wearables@stanford.edu.

There are many steps required to use the MyPHD app. Why do I need to copy and paste the key to use the app?

Your privacy is very important to us, and these steps allow us to ensure your private information is kept as secure as possible. Thank you for your patience.

If you have any questions about downloading, logging in, and using the app, please refer to this helpful tutorial video: MyPHD_Tutorial.

I copied the key, but the app still isn’t working. What should I do?

We have noticed that there is some difficulty copying the text from a yahoo mail app. Please try copying the key using a different email. Otherwise, please contact us at stanford_covid19_wearables@stanford.edu and we will look into the issue.

How do I share my wearables data with the research team?

We will send instructions on how to securely download and use our study app. When the app is installed on your phone, we will be able to collect your wearables data. It is important that you install and use the app properly, as that is the only way for us to collect your wearable data remotely.