About the ZOE Health Study

In 2018, ZOE launched PREDICT, the largest nutrition science study in the world, using new technologies such as machine learning and microbiome sequencing to enable nutritional research at an unprecedented scale.

ZOE discovered that food impacts each of us very differently, with genetics playing only a small role in this difference. The reason? Our unique gut bacteria, which inform every aspect of our health and are shaped by our diet. The groundbreaking findings have been published in top peer-reviewed journals Nature Medicine and Nature Metabolism.

As the company was preparing to launch its personalised nutrition programme to help people eat for improved health, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. ZOE took everything it had learned from running the PREDICT programme, and in March 2020 launched the COVID Symptom Tracker app to rapidly advance research on COVID-19. In just a week, one million people downloaded the app.

In those first few months, ZOE discovered that there were over 20 symptoms of COVID, and most importantly, that anosmia was a key predictive symptom of COVID of wild type COVID.

Since then, the ZOE COVID Study has had over 4.7 million ZOE COVID Study contributors join the app and published over 40 scientific papers in journals such as The Lancet, Nature Medicine, The Oncologist and Nature Food. Covering topics ranging from cancer and COVID risk, to side-effects of COVID vaccines to vaccine effectiveness over time.

The study changed the course of the pandemic, keeping the public, healthcare professionals and the UK government informed about how COVID-19 rates were changing in near-real time.

The Study also created a new model for how researchers engage with study participants. ZOE presented all collected data and findings back to contributors via easily digestible insights and content, so participants could see exactly what their logging enabled. Contributor feedback also informed how studies were designed, what we chose to study, content creation and the app experience.

ZOE’s PREDICT programme and the ZOE COVID Study demonstrated four key things:

  1. Anyone can make an important contribution to science from their own home

  2. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health, whether it’s food or a vaccine, we all respond differently

  3. Symptoms are an important way to understand immune health, and immune health plays a central role in most diseases and overall health

  4. Putting participants first motivates them to commit to long-term research projects

ZOE then used the power of community science to research health and lifestyle issues beyond COVID, as the ZOE COVID Study became the ZOE Health Study.

With the world’s largest community of at-home scientists committed to logging their health, ZOE was in a unique position to explore human health and on an enormous scale.

Using ZOE's signature approach of home-based, app-enabled data collection, the ZOE Health Study conducted multiple studies such as The Big Diet Study, The Blood Pressure Study, The Big IF Study and more.

We take data security very seriously and will handle your data with huge respect. Your data is protected by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It will only be used for health research and will not be used for commercial purposes. You can read more about how your data will be used, your rights and the steps we take to ensure it's protected in our Privacy Policy or in the Frequently Asked Questions.

For all press enquires please contact the press team on press@joinzoe.com