Use of Data for Research Purposes

Date: May 6, 2020

We are asking your permission to use your data for the purposes of exploratory research studies. Cough patterns over time and space, as well as the acoustic characteristics of coughs, can provide useful data for health research purposes. Regardless of whether you would like to share your data with researchers or not, you can use Hyfe. There is no obligation to share your data with researchers.

Research purpose

Data collected via the Hyfe app could (a) help researchers better understand the relationship between cough onset and illness, and (b) help identify potential respiratory illness outbreaks. These methods have not yet been demonstrated, and should, therefore, be considered experimental. 

Steps and data 

If you are willing to have your data used for research purposes, this will not change your experience with or use of the Hyfe application. We will collect location, sound, and metadata as usual. In the case that you give permission for your data to be used for research, we may provide health researchers with (a) the putative cough sounds generated from your use of Hyfe, (b) the time at which those coughs occurred, (c) an anonymous ID number so that researchers know which coughs came from which individuals, (d) your location details, offset randomly by up to 1000 meters so that your exact location is not identifiable, and (e) information about your device. 

In the future, we may contact you via the app to request supplemental information. You are not obligated to respond. At any point, you can opt-out, after which you will no longer be contacted.


No individual benefits are expected for subjects who participate in this research. However, the findings of cough-related studies may help allow for early disease detection and improved public health surveillance.


Because using this app (and by extension, participating in studies based on the use of this app) involves producing 3 coughs during the onboarding phase, there is a risk of spreading germs. To reduce this risk, we ask the study participant to produce the sounds away from other humans and to disinfect surfaces upon finishing. The participant can wear a mask while recording if they prefer.


For full details on privacy, please read our Privacy Policy.


If you have questions, you may contact us at