As cold and flu season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, many people are starting to think about what they can do to avoid getting sick. To help prevent illnesses, public health advice needs to be based on solid scientific evidence.
The Health Tracking Network is a citizen science project designed to fill some of these gaps in knowledge. You can join others from across the world in helping find factors linked to common illnesses such as the common cold, influenza, and stomach flu (gastroenteritis).
Anyone 18 years old or older can participate. When you join the Health Tracking Network, you:
- spend 2-3 minutes per week answering questions about illness symptoms and related topics,
- earn money for charities of your choice, and
- can track your own health, fitness, or anything of interest to you with separate tracking tools.
Participation is completely anonymous.
The project began in April, 2011, and more than 415 people have joined so far. Through their participation, members of the Health Tracking Network have generated more than $2,000 in donations to charities.
The Health Tracking Network needs more participants from all over the world! More participants will allow the project to identify factors related to common illnesses with confidence, which may ultimately lead to good scientific advice about prevention. Join the effort now!
Guest post by Dr. Devon Brewer