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Make a big impact on diabetes research

By donating anonymized data, you can help fuel the next generation of diabetes research and innovation. The Tidepool Big Data Donation Project helps students, academics, and industry innovate faster and expand the boundaries of our knowledge about diabetes.

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How it works

You can opt in or opt out of the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project at any time. Once you choose to donate your data, Tidepool will anonymize it, stripping it of all identifying information, including name, email address, custom labeled profiles, and device identifiers before including it in the pool of datasets that we make available to our data partners.

When you donate your data, you can help support Tidepool and other nonprofit diabetes organizations

The fees charged to data partners for access to donated, anonymized datasets help keep our software available for people with diabetes, caretakers, and clinicians. Tidepool will also donate 10% of the proceeds to the organization(s) of your choice, giving back to the diabetes community, too.

These fees are not at the expense of your data’s integrity or security, or your personal safety. We will also make some datasets publicly available at no cost for researchers – including citizen scientists – who would like to explore the vast possibilities of diabetes management and technology.

Example of how your data is used Data scientists at Oregon Health and Sciences University are using datasets from the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project to refine their hypoglycemia prediction algorithms that can be used in closed loop therapy.

Our nonprofit diabetes partners

With your help, we're proud to support these fantastic nonprofit organizations serving the diabetes community.

Learn how your data is used

We’re excited to share how our data partners are using the data, and what was learned through their research. We will always be completely transparent with the diabetes community about what we do with the data donated by the Tidepool community including how each data partner intends to utilize the anonymized data and their results after publication when possible.

Featured data partner
Data scientists at Oregon Health and Sciences University are using datasets from the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project to refine their hypoglycemia prediction algorithms that can be used in closed loop therapy.

Our data partners

Contact us to get more information about licensing donated datasets for your research.

Have more questions?

Here are just a few of the things people frequently ask about the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project. If you don't see your question here, please get in touch.

How do I participate in the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project?
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Whether you’re creating a Tidepool account for the first time, or you’re an existing Tidepool user, donating your data is easy. You can follow these step-by-step instructions to get set up.

How does Tidepool anonymize my data?
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We remove identifiers and anonymize data in these ways:

For each user:

  • Included: The month and year of birth and diagnosis
  • Not included: Name, address, email address, exact birthday, exact diagnosis day, notes, photos, customized basal profile names or other personally identifiable information

For all diabetes devices:

  • Included: Device event and data timestamps
  • May be included: Brand and model of the device (some device makers preclude this)
  • Not included: Device serial number

For blood glucose monitors:

  • Included: Blood glucose (BG) readings

For continuous glucose meters (CGM):

  • Included: Estimated glucose values, events tracked by the CGM, including meals, insulin, calibration, exercise

For insulin pumps:

  • Included: All pump settings, including bolus calculator parameters, basal rates, insulin to carb ratios, and insulin sensitivity factors as well as all events tracked by the pump, including meals, insulin dosed, temp basals and suspends events, primes, and BG inputs

Note: Some of the terms above may have slightly varying language on your device.

We will not include in the anonymized datasets (1) freeform text and notes entered by you or your Care Team Members, or (2) any other data that could identify a specific individual.

See our Privacy Policy for more information.

What does my donated data look like?
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After anonymizing and removing all identifying information, the data we provide researchers is in either .csv, .json, or .xlsx format that looks like this.

We store data in Tidepool’s secure, HIPAA-compliant servers that are hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Within AWS, we use MongoDB, a popular, modern database.

Here is an example data file (6MB compressed) for our demo user, “Jill Jellyfish" before anonymization and removing identifiers. It follows the Tidepool data model (the way we internally represent data) here.

How does Tidepool protect my data?
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Tidepool uses industry best practices, including end-to-end encryption, to secure your data. You can read detailed information all about our security infrastructure in this document.

For the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project, Tidepool strips all identifying information from anonymized data sets. In addition, Tidepool replaces your Tidepool user identifier (that looks something like 0a1b2c3d) with a “hash” value that is generated using a cryptographically secure one-way hash function. These identifiers cannot be decrypted into their original form, even by Tidepool, but they allow researchers to correlate anonymized datasets over time from the same user.

We take great safeguards to prevent hacks and data breaches, and it has never occured. If a data breach were to occur, we would follow HIPAA guidelines for notifying our user base about the details of the breach.

How do I opt out of the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project?
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At any time after you have opted in, you can choose to opt out. After you’ve logged into your account, click on the account name at the top of the page to navigate to your profile settings. Remove any nonprofit diabetes organizations you’ve selected to receive 10% of proceeds generated by your data donation.

Uncheck “Donate my anonymized data” and click “Save.” If you opt in, and then later change your preference to opt out, you will not be able to remove or delete data that had been previously donated.

I'm a small, independent researcher. Can I get access to the data you've collected?
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We will make a portion of the data donated to the Big Data Donation Project available for free. We also recommend you take a look at the OpenAPS and Nightscout Data Commons project.

Ready to make a big impact on diabetes?

If you’d like to donate your data, first you’ll need your Tidepool account. Contact Tidepool support if you have any questions.