«Ally Science»

The study on pollen allergy in Switzerland

«Ally Science»

Members of the «Ally Science» community support the largest Swiss study on pollen allergy with their anonymous data.


Where do most pollen allergy sufferers live in Switzerland, and what symptoms do they suffer from?

Around two million people in Switzerland suffer from physical complaints during the pollen season. These include burning eyes, a dripping nose, itchy skin, sore throat and shortness of breath. It is not yet known in which regions (cantons, urban and rural areas) the symptoms occur particularly frequently or severely and which factors (type of pollen, particulate matter, weather, etc.) influence them.

The Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH and the University Hospital Zurich (USZ) launched the smartphone app «Ally Science» in spring 2018. This is part of the largest scientific study to date on pollen allergies in Switzerland. The app is intuitive to use and available in all four national languages as well as in English, allowing users to document their complaints. They also receive pollen forecasts and an exclusive presentation of the current development of allergy symptoms in the various regions.

By participating in the study, they contribute to improving early warning systems and therapies for pollen allergy sufferers in the future. The data collected via the app are stored in personal accounts on the secure MIDATA platform developed by ETH Zurich and BFH.

The users can thus always decide for themselves whom they want to grant access to their anonymized data for research purposes. The Allergiestation of the Dermatological Clinic of the University Hospital Zurich now wants to get to the bottom of these questions in a scientific study in all regions of Switzerland.
In further phases (2019 and 2020), new questions and additional app functions will be launched. At the same time, the general USZ study with the «Ally Science» community will be continued. The app will be expanded with various new functions.

For the 2019 app concept, the developers have included numerous valuable inputs from the community.

Would you like to join in? Download the «Ally Science» app from the Apple App Store or GooglePlay.



To the website: www.allyscience.ch


«Ally Science» Making Of



Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, Institute for Medical Informatics I4MI
Prof. Serge Bignens, François von Kaenel und Olivier Descloux

Allergology, study

UniversitätsSpital Zürich (USZ), Allergologie
Prof. Dr. med. Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier und Dr. med. Eugen Bersuch

Process management

Dr. Dominik Steiger
MIDATA (Data stewardship) & EvalueScience (Study process support)

Project management

Ruth Ellenberger

Project partners

The MIDATA data platform enables members of the public to compile their health records in a secure personal account free of charge and to determine if and how they are used in research projects. In this way, they can act as «citizen scientists», making an active contribution to medical research.
MIDATA serves as a data repository for its members and other participating members of the public. It is a non-profit cooperative facility that operates without offering financial incentives, similarly to blood donation services, for instance. The account holders are not paid for their intentional and voluntary «data donation». The revenue generated from the integration of their data into a scientific study is reinvested in the services offered on the platform and in a variety of smaller research projects. Start-ups, IT service providers and research groups can use the platform to offer mobile apps, such as health apps or apps for treating and monitoring patients with chronic illnesses. MIDATA is currently being used in a number of scientific health projects. In one particular project being conducted at University Hospital Zurich, for example, multiple sclerosis patients are being included in a study into the effect of treatments, which uses a tablet app to test their cognitive and motor skills. A further project, currently in development at ETH Zurich, will look at different training methods and the impact they have on muscle growth. More and more projects are being run that are directed at a wide section of the population and are of value to many – as is the case with the «Ally Science» project.


The Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) offers an innovative didactic approach aimed at teaching, R&D and continuous training, using practical exercises to prepare students for professional activities in which scientific knowledge and methods are required.
aha! Swiss Allergy Centre is an independent, non-profit foundation, focusing on the needs and interests of allergy sufferers as well as helping them find better quality of life by means of active prevention.
ELCA makes it work. For 50 years now we’ve been helping our customers improve processes and valorisation of the data to the benefit of their customers, by developing IT solutions and applications.
Our multidisciplinary teams combine state-of-the-art technological expertise with creative design and medical knowledge to make patients’ lives easier.


Pioneering technology company Dyson has made it its mission to take everyday products and improve on them with innovative ideas. Dyson stands for inventive and allergy-friendly developments, especially in the sectors of floorcare and climate control.
More than 40 air purifiers and vacuum cleaners worldwide have been certified by Service Allergie Suisse and carry the organisation’s seal of approval, the Allergy Label. Dyson is Europe’s only manufacturer of household appliances to operate its own microbiological laboratory and boasts over 25 years of experience in HEPA filtration and filter materials. The in-house microbiology laboratory gives the project engineering teams new opportunities for research and support in their bid to develop and improve products that are good for our health and hygiene.


Freedom and individual responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and open-mindedness: ETH Zurich stands on a bedrock of true Swiss values. Our university for science and technology dates back to the year 1855, when the founders of modern-day Switzerland created it as a centre of innovation and knowledge.
At ETH Zurich, students discover an ideal environment for independent thinking, researchers a climate which inspires top performance. Situated in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, ETH Zurich is pioneering effective solutions to the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


The Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss, is Switzerland’s national weather and meteorology service. Our public service underpins the foundations of weather and meteorological information in Switzerland, and plays an integral part in the safety and well-being of the people of Switzerland.
Superhuit is a digital agency specialising in brand and Web solutions. From Lausanne to Porto, its multidisciplinary team focuses on creating engaging user experiences that increase organisations impact.
From its central location in Zurich, the USZ university hospital provides primary health care and cutting-edge medicine. Its services are available to everyone, every day of the year, 24 hours a day.