Is it possible to create a health-oriented version of Wikipedia to help each person know how to avoid getting sick by crossing the data generated by millions of users? This is the goal that this young Argentinean, Geraldine Gueron, has been pursuing for 3 years. She’s convinced that mobile devices, increasingly omnipotent, allow for the massive collection of valuable data that could be put to use in the healthcare sector.
Geraldine, a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, is the founder of Wikilife, a non-profit initiative involving big data and mobile computing which aims to create the largest collaborative and reliable source of health and lifestyle related information in the world.
Wikilife anonymously collects and shares data from thousands of users regarding all kinds of habits: what you eat, the exercise you do, the illnesses suffered, the hours you work and sleep, and even genetic information; which it uses to inform individuals about the consequences of their habits. The data is sent to the platform via the free application 'Wikilife', Nike +´s RunKeeper and other devices and applications used for data collection on healthy habits.
To date, they have collected more than 2.7 million data entries made by hundreds of thousands of people, and they keep on growing at a rate of 200,000 per month.
Through the DataDonors initiative, which aims to promote the donation of data and a more massive and simple use of the platform, Wikilife will obtain, for example, the date of birth provided via Facebook or LinkedIn, the genetic profile information offered by companies such as 23andMe or data related to eating habits from FatSecret.
Wikilife allows you to connect data and to make association studies that offer an enormous potential that comes close to personalized medicine. In addition to individual use, this database will facilitate the research conducted by thousands of scientific groups around the world.