Cloudy with a chance of pain!

Cloudy with a chance of pain!

Back in February last year we covered a new survey being set up to monitor how the weather affects people with arthritis and other conditions.

Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, was the world’s first smartphone-based study to investigate the association between pain and the weather. The study will be carried out during 2016 using a smartphone platform called UMotif which people will use to record how they’re feeling, whilst local weather data is automatically collected using the phone’s GPS.

We invited our readers to take part in the survey and now with over 5.1 million symptoms scored and even more weather data collected over the 15 months of Cloudy, they have a big challenge on our hands in analysing all this information. Over the last few months they have been busy getting immersed in the data. They have also been developing connections with lots of leading researchers and scientists to help us work out the best way (or ways) to answer our question about weather and pain.

They are delighted to start working with the following groups:

  • Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Epidemiology at the University of Manchester
  • Social and Environmental Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Statistical Science at University College London (UCL)
  • Machine Learning for Healthcare and Life Sciences at IBM Research

The data provided by the Cloudy community has unique challenges given its size, the year-long study duration and the different patterns of engagement from our participants. Some of you entered data on just one day, whilst our record holder entered data for a whopping 453 days out of some maximum possible 456 days.  They are excited to tackle all of these problems together with our new partners and plan to come back to you with some results next spring.

So thank you to all those who took part in this exercise and we all look forward to hearing the results.

Join the new pioneering smartwatch study exploring the relationship beween activity and pain!

In a pioneering collaboration, the Cloudy team has partnered with tech giants Google to launch an exciting new sub-study this September. Koalap (Knee osteoarthritis: linking activity and pain) will use cutting edge smartwatch technology to help us to understand the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and physical activity – and you can be involved.

They are looking for participants who:

  • Have knee osteoarthritis
  • Are aged 50 or over
  • Live in Greater Manchester (or are willing to accept travel expenses up to £15)
  • Own a smartphone

Participants will need to be willing to attend The University of Manchester at the beginning and end of the study period and to wear a smartwatch during the day for three months.

If you would like to find out more about the study or have friends and family who might want to take part, please visit  for further details or email the project team at