New app-based study launches to examine relationship between weather and pain

The new app and study, named Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, has been brought about by researchers at the University of Manchester to look at the connection between the weather and the experience of chronic pain across the UK. the project has launched in partnership with Arthritis Research UK, health app company uMotif, New York-based Office for Creative Research, and the University’s Health e-Research Centre.

Cloudy with a Chance of PainTo take part in the study you’ll have to be at least 17 years old, live in the UK and (sadly) experience some form of arthritis or chronic pain. Although, if you don’t qualify to be a full participant, you can still download the app and submit your own ideas!

If you do qualify to take part, then you’ll be asked to track your pain symptoms within the dedicated app – while the app itself will collect data on weather using the phone’s GPS tracker and pair that data to the symptom data. Then the participants will also be able to see how their symptoms change in relation to the weather over time.

Dr. Will Dixon, director of The University of Manchester’s Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, commented: “We’re not just inviting people to submit data – we want their ideas about the association between weather and pain too. We will be running a big citizen science experiment where anyone can explore the data and try and spot patterns and relationships in the data. We’ll gather ideas and theories from everyone to come up the best possible conclusion.”

The study began officially collecting data from 1st February 2016 and will run for a whole year. Once the 12 months are complete, the researchers will conduct an analysis of the data and aim to identify ways to create pain forecasts, which would help people who live with chronic pain plan their schedule.

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