University of Cambridge researchers use mobile monitoring for early detection of COVID-19

The UK study will enable earlier identification of infection and develop research for treatment.
By Sara Mageit
06:56 am

The MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge has launched a research project using a remote monitoring platform from digital health company Huma in the Fenland Study.

Through Huma’s smartphone app, researchers will ask participants to provide detailed health data to provide insights into the detection and progression of COVID-19.

The study will measure antibodies to determine how many people have previously been infected with COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic and will observe the development of antibodies over the next months.


The Fenland Study has data on 12,500 participants and will use this to provide insights and to discover digital biomarkers for early identification of COVID-19.

The use of Huma’s digital platform allows the research team to collect information without in-person contact between participants and researchers.

Fenland study participants will use Huma technology to report and share health information with researchers from a smartphone, providing researchers with health data to understand the disease progression and early predictors of COVID-19.

The study will also allow researchers to investigate the effects of public health and policy responses such as social distancing on health-related behaviours, well-being and mental health. 

Understanding the early signs of COVID-19 will enable earlier identification of infection and more effective treatment and infection control.


As the coronavirus crisis has seen an influx of data research, earlier this year, the Research Data Alliance began compiling a new guide to data sharing during the global public health emergency.

Also in related news, the University of California Health has created a unified data set to help researchers develop COVID-19 treatments.  


Dan Vahdat, founder and CEO of Huma, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear to the world that the traditional way of looking after patients is limited. For the first time in history, we have platforms, devices, and data collection and analysis capabilities that can change how healthcare is delivered, putting a mini hospital in your pocket.”

“We are excited to work with the University of Cambridge to discover new digital biomarkers and health insights based on the Fenland study of 12,500 individuals and their health data for up to fifteen years. With this in-depth health data, we look forward to uncovering new insights and digital biomarkers that can aid in understanding the early indicators and disease progression of COVID-19 and far beyond.”


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