Research

Participate: Open Humans

Share your data, advance research.

By Lena Huang

Illustration by Mitch Blunt

What is it?
Open Humans is a free program created to help people gather health data about themselves and connect with other people or researchers interested in that information. Members can set up a profile, upload their health data, or connect their health-tracking apps to import information to the website. Members then decide whom they want to share that data with: family members, friends, doctors, researchers, or the general public.

Who can participate?
Open Humans is available to anyone age 13 or older with data to share. The program currently supports data from many public and private companies, including American Gut, Fitbit, Seeq, 23andMe, and the Harvard Personal Genome Project.

Who sponsors it?
The nonprofit Open Humans Foundation supports the program. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Knight Foundation fund the Open Humans Foundation.

Why participate?
Open Humans was created to encourage the sharing of health data. Federal law prohibits healthcare providers from sharing patient information; however, patients can access their own health data and choose to share that data with others, including researchers. Open Humans is a forum that encourages scientific advancement through the sharing of data.

How do I participate?
Visit the website at openhumans.org for more information.