Test & study support
Use this link for problems with the test procedure, kit contents, or questions about the study.
Use this link for technical problems with the flu@home app.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the flu@home study?
The aim of the study is to determine whether individuals can use an at-home flu test with guidance from an app to understand if they may have the flu. It is estimated that influenza causes 3,500 deaths, 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations in Australia each year. We know that the flu is spread from person to person, and we know that it causes outbreaks every year. What we don't know is whether people can test themselves at home for the flu with high accuracy. The flu@home study is on a mission to change that.
2. Who is involved?
The flu@home study is funded by Audere, a non-profit organisation, and the Brotman Baty Institute, both in the United States. The study is conducted in association with the University of Adelaide in Australia and the University of Washington in the United States. For more information, visit www.fluathome.org.au.
The flu@home app is developed, operated, and owned by Audere. Taking part in this study is completely voluntary. You can stop at any time; however, it greatly helps us if you finish all steps as described in the app.
3. How do I participate?
If your GP is part of the ASPREN study and suspects you may have the flu, you may be eligible to participate. Your GP will take a quick nasal swab in the clinic and provide you with a flu test kit to take home and complete as soon as possible. To run the test you will need to download the flu@home app on your own Android smartphone, Android tablet, iPhone, or iPad to run the test and take a survey. You will learn through the app if you may have the flu.
4. Is there a cost to download the flu@home app?
The flu@home app is free to download and the test kit will be provided for free by your GP.
5. Who can participate in the study?
Individuals who live in Australia, are 18 years of age or older, and visit a GP participating in the ASPREN study. Your GP will determine whether you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms that make you eligible for this study.
6. Is there any reason that I shouldn't participate?
Please do not enroll if you have less than two symptoms of a cold or flu, or have had symptoms for more than 7 days. If your symptoms started more than 7 days ago, the test results will be less accurate.
7. Can you tell me more about the nose swab? Is it painful?
It takes 5-10 seconds and it might tickle a bit. You’ll gently swab the inside wall of your nostril with a soft cotton-like swab. You’ll do this first on one side, then the other side with the same swab. There are no needles or anything beyond the nose swab.
8. What data are you gathering from my nose swab?
The test in your kit uses your nose swab to figure out if the flu virus may be making you sick.
9. Will I get personalised results after participating in the study?
You will receive personalised results in the flu@home app after completing the test. Additionally, you will receive the results of the swab done by your GP.
10. How can I find out if the test says I have the flu?
The flu@home app will guide you through reading your flu test results and will indicate whether you may or may not have the flu. However, regardless of what this test indicates, please consult with your GP and take any prescribed medication as directed.
11. Will my results be anonymous?
12. Will I be tracked after the study?
13. Can I get a flu vaccination from the flu@home study?
No, but thank you for asking! We are gathering data to track and study the flu. We are NOT administering the flu vaccine. Please speak to your GP about getting a flu vaccination.
14. Can I help to stop the spread of the flu?
Yes you can, and here's how:
- Wash your hands
- Sneeze into your arm
- Stay home when you are sick
For more suggestions, please visit https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/colds-and-flu-prevention
15. My kit is missing something, can I get another kit?
We are sorry if you received a kit that is missing something. If this is the case, then unfortunately we can't offer you a replacement, so it's best that you don't carry on with the test or this research study. We have done our best to make sure all the test kits are complete, so hopefully this won't occur.
16. What if we have a complaint or any concerns?
The study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Adelaide (approval number H-2019-116). This research project will be conducted according to the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated 2018).
If you have questions or problems associated with the practical aspects of your participation in the project, or wish to raise a concern or complaint about the project, then you should consult the Principal Investigator, Dr. Nigel Stocks at email@example.com.
If you wish to speak with an independent person regarding concerns or a complaint, the University’s policy on research involving human participants, or your rights as a participant, please contact the Human Research Ethics Committee’s Secretariat on:
Phone: +61 8 8313 6028
Post: Level 4, Rundle Mall Plaza, 50 Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000
Any complaint or concern will be treated in confidence and fully investigated. You will be informed of the outcome.
17. How is this different from the ASPREN study?
ASPREN is the Australian Sentinel Practices Research Network. ASPREN is a network of sentinel general practitioners and nurse practitioners who report de-identified information on Influenza like illness and other conditions seen in general practice. Initially developed by the RACGP in 1991, ASPREN is currently funded by the Commonwealth's Department of Health and directed through the Discipline of General Practice at The University of Adelaide. ASPREN data is used for infectious disease surveillance by State and Commonwealth Departments of Health and general practice research, including providing annual vaccine effectiveness estimates to the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Movement and data to the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza. It is a key part of pandemic preparedness for Australia.
Providers in the ASPREN study are offering patients the opportunity to participate in the flu@home study by providing them with a test kit to take home. Participation in the flu@home study and will not affect data collection from standard ASPREN protocols.