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Philanthropists back open health data

Two foundations have pledged $1 million for an online network to allow volunteers to share information about their health with researchers.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the John S and James L Knight Foundation are each providing $500,000. The Open Humans Network will be operated by researchers from Harvard University, New York University and the University of California San Diego.

The researchers behind the project say it will make it easier for people to participate in medical studies and for doctors to conduct them. They note that participation rates in studies have been falling in recent years.

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