Researchers release app to study what makes ticks 'tick'
Superior Telegram Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a new smartphone app to help them understand where ticks are active and how people expose themselves to ticks. The app is being released as Wisconsin faces an eve...
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a new smartphone app to help them understand where ticks are active and how people expose themselves to ticks.
The app is being released as Wisconsin faces an ever-increasing number of Lyme disease cases, sparking increased concerns about tick-transmitted diseases.
The app helps scientists better understand when and where ticks are picked up and educates people on what kinds of ticks to look out for and how to practice safe habits when venturing outside. It is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
“We’d like to know what the risk factors for tick exposure are and see what habits expose certain people to ticks, and also get a sense of what prevents tick bites,” says Bieneke Bron, a postdoctoral researcher at UW–Madison who is leading the project. “Ultimately, we’d like to understand and prevent human exposure to ticks.”
Users are prompted to record a “tick diary” every evening for two weeks, in which they describe their activities for the day and whether or not they were exposed to ticks. Anonymized data collected from many users will help researchers track the threat of tick-borne diseases.
The app can also help users identify any ticks they run into with pictures and descriptions to understand their exposure to diseases.