«MitrendS Citizen Science»

Citizen-controlled data for research on multiple sclerosis

«MitrendS Citizen Science»

«MitrendS Citizen Science» asks the community to participate in research on multiple sclerosis (MS) by contributing reference data. This citizen science project complements an already ongoing study with MS patients.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. While new drugs are able to slow down the disease progression, as of today there is no cure to MS. It is therefore key to develop new solutions able to record individual disease progression and neurological deficits. The availability of this data helps to ensure that in the future, individually tailored therapies will be available for MS patients and enable close monitoring of their effectiveness.

With this aim, the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH in collaboration with the Department of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Research (nims) of the University Hospital Zurich and MIDATA have developed the «MitrendS» tablet app which provides exercises to specifically examine certain neurological symptoms, such as motor skills and cognitive functions.

By participating in the Citizen Science project, healthy people can help to collect reference data. By having healthy people from the general public perform the same exercises on the app as MS patients, the research team will gain valuable information about reference values. These values will play a key role in the validation of the app and ensure a deeper, more differentiated knowledge of the MS disease and its symptoms.
Would you like to join in? Download the «MitrendS Citizen Science» app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Further information



Prof. Dr. Ernst Hafen
ETH Zürich, Institut für Molekulare Systembiologie

Stefano Napolitano
MIDATA Cooperative

Multiple Sclerosis

Prof. Dr. med. Roland Martin und Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Lutterotti
UniversitätsSpital Zürich, Klinik für Neurologie

App Development

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

Data Analysis

Prof. Dr. Gunnar Rätsch
ETH Zürich, Biomedizinische Informatik


Prof. Dr. Effy Vayena
ETH Zürich, Institut für Translationelle Medizin, Bioethik


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.
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 Citizen Science Center Zurich explores, supports and promotes Citizen Science in Switzerland. Citizen Science is the participation of the general public in scientific research.
Anyone interested can find out about the range of current projects here .


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.