Pokémon Go could aid health research

Pokémon could hold the key to a healthier Australia, according to an alliance of health researchers.

The Pokémon Go mobile game, which relies on tracking users’ movements, has been downloaded by about one in six smart phone owners and 10 per cent play daily.

A Research Australia poll of people who use activity trackers showed three-quarters are prepared to share the data anonymously for health and medical research.

“Collecting mass data of a diverse segment of the Australian population is no easy feat – but with a mainstream app to do the heavy lifting, furthering that collection for research purposes is feasible,” Research Australia chief executive Nadia Levin said. “That’s why an app like Pokémon Go has got our attention, because if the statistics translate to gamers then we have a whole dataset that we can catch (pun intended) for research.”