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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are there any web-based flu surveys in the UK?

    Yes there are. Here is one.

  2. What if I've lost the program or my activation key?

    You can download the program again at any time from the download page, as long as you have logged in. The key is available on the download page, next to the download link for the program. The download page is available from the tabs at the top of the page when you've logged in.

  3. I registered on your web page, but I haven't received the email from you that completes registration?

    Please check that your email system has not automatically filtered our email to you as spam; you may need to check in your junk email folder. If you cannot find any email there, it may have been sorted out as spam and deleted by your email service provider. If so, please send an email to flu-phone@cl.cam.ac.uk either using the email address you used to register, or stating which one it is.

  4. How do I use the symptom reporting feature?

  5. How do I install and run your software?

    Once you have downloaded the file from the download page, you should open it. Inside there are two files: FluPhone.jar and FluPhone.jad. Both these files need to be copied to your phone, and possibly also installed. How that is done differs, depending on which phone you have.

    Once you have installed the FluPhone software, you should check the phone's settings for the program. The program will need to have permission to send data to the internet. This setting is not inside the program, but set before you start the program.

    On some phones you also have to set which "access point" the application should use. This is a setting you give to the application before starting it. If you can't find this setting, then you should try to skip this step and see if it still works. If you are unable to activate the program properly, please see if there is somewhere else you can find this setting.

    The FluPhone application will talk to the fluphone web server, and uses the certificate for the FluPhone web server to help encrypt the data it submits. For this reason, depending on what kind of phone you have, you may have to enable what is called a root certificate. This is a security setting in your phone, and you need to find and you need to find all certificates called "GlobalSign", and set them to be able to verify web sites. There is likely to be several certificates, and all of them need to be enabled. If this does not work, or there is no such certificate, you would have to install the GlobalSign certificate on your phone.

    After installing, you will need to start the application. How this is done is also dependent on the kind of phone you have. When the application starts, it will ask you for your activation code. The activation code is listed next to the download icon. Your activation code is unique to you. Do not disclose your activation code to anyone.

    Once you have used your activation code to activate the software, you will not have to remember it. The software saves your activation code, and uses it again, if it has to.

    If your phone runs out of battery, you turn your phone off, or you quit the FluPhone application, the application can not start itself the next time you start your phone. If this happens, please start the application again, so that your data will continue to be collected and your activity on the web page can be updated.

  6. Does your program run on the iPhone or Android?

    Applications for these platforms are being worked on, and will be released as soon as they are ready.

  7. On the registration page, I have to give my home and work postcode. Would I be excluded if I didn't live or work in Cambridge?

    No, we don't exclude people based on where they live. We do, however, want to know how many of our participants are likely to often be in Cambridge, and this is a good way for us to know. Also, we can only offer the top-up compensation to participants of pre-pay service plans (e.g. pay-as-you-go) who live or work in Cambridge.

  8. What is the "lock keypad" feature?

    We have discovered that some phones are not able to lock the keypad when running our software. For this reason, we decided to implement a way for those people to avoid accidental input to the program. Those users who can put the application in the background and/or lock the phone their regular way instead, should do that.

  9. When I input my activation key, the program says "Unable to reach server". What does this mean?

    This means that, for some reason, the application was unable to connect to the internet so that it could check your activation code. The application will run normally after this, but no data will be reported, until you restart the application and get the message "Activation successful!"

    There are many ways that this can happen. On some phones, this happens when the application does not know which so-called "access point" to use. This is a setting you give to the application before it starts. You should also check that you have internet connectivity turned on, and that you have a strong enough signal. Another possibility is that you accidentally refused to let the application access the internet, when you were asked to give it permission. The application needs permission to access the internet to report the data.

    If you do not have mobile internet, we ask that you use the applications "Dump to file" option to generate files that can be uploaded via the website.

  10. The application keeps asking me for permission to use the internet every 3 minutes. It is annoying! How can I stop it from doing this?

    If this happens, then quit the FluPhone application. Check its options, and make sure you have its network access settings set to "ask only once" or "always allowed". Then start the application again.


The study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Medical Research Council, and is being conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, the University of Liverpool and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

© 2010 Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.