Pollen allergy: In which regions do those affected suffer particularly strongly?

Join the Ally Science community and contribute your anonymised data to Switzerland's biggest study on pollen allergies. Conducted by the University Hospital Zurich, it is only possible with the help of hay fever sufferers from all regions of Switzerland, including you.

USZ study

More insight into pollen allergies in Switzerland.

Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH and University Hospital Zurich (USZ) are launching the free smartphone app Ally Science. It forms part of the largest ever scientific study into pollen allergies to be carried out in Switzerland. The easy-to-use app, available in all four national languages and English, allows allergy sufferers to keep a record of their condition. Users also receive pollen forecasts and an exclusive representation of the current development of allergy symptoms in the different regions. By taking part in the study, they play a vital role in improving early warning systems and therapies for pollen allergy sufferers in the future. The data that is recorded by the app is stored in private accounts on the secure MIDATA IT platform developed by ETH Zurich and the BFH. The users can decide for themselves at any time which researchers they want to grant access to their anonymised data.
Approximately two million people in Switzerland suffer from physical complaints during the pollen season. These include stinging eyes, runny nose, itchy skin, sore throat and breathing difficulties. It is not yet known which regions (cantons, urban and rural areas) exhibit particularly frequent or severe cases of symptoms, or which factors (pollen variety, fine dust, weather, etc.) are influential. The Allergy Station of the Dermatology Clinic of University Hospital Zurich hopes to find answers to these questions through a scientific study spanning every region in Switzerland.


The aim of research with « Ally Science »

The idea behind the Ally Science app is to create a platform for studies investigating pollen allergies in Switzerland.

In an initial phase of the project, we set out to answer several important questions on this subject. Firstly, we want to establish how many people in Switzerland experience allergic symptoms, which symptoms are the most common, which of these are already being treated and which allergies have been professionally diagnosed in the app users. Another interesting question in this regard is the distribution of allergy-sufferers in Switzerland, in terms of which regions (cantons, town, country) exhibit particularly frequent or severe cases of allergy complaints.
In due course, we will investigate which links can be identified between actual data on pollen count and air pollutant levels and the symptoms reported at the same time. This requires real-time data for pollen and air pollutants. Our partner, MeteoSwiss, will be able to provide this real-time data in the near future.
We hope that pollen allergy sufferers in particular will benefit from these new early warning systems for pollen and pollutants. We also have plans to conduct studies on reactions to indoor allergens, including the prevalent house dust mite allergy, as well as the less common allergies to animal hair and mould spores. In addition, we want to investigate whether people with these allergies would benefit from a higher indoor air quality, achieved using air purifiers.

Prof. Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier

Prof. Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier, Head of the USZ Allergy Station

Dermatologie on USZ website



The Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) offers an innovative didactic approach aimed at teaching, R&D and continuous training, using practical exercises to prepare students for professional activities in which scientific knowledge and methods are required.


From its central location in Zurich, the USZ university hospital provides primary health care and cutting-edge medicine. Its services are available to everyone, every day of the year, 24 hours a day. The dermatology clinic at USZ is dedicated to the meticulous examination, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and illnesses affecting the skin, nails and hair.

The clinic’s areas of special interest are skin cancer, inflammatory skin conditions and allergies.



The MIDATA data platform enables members of the public to compile their health records in a secure personal account free of charge and to determine if and how they are used in research projects. In this way, they can act as «citizen scientists», making an active contribution to medical research.

MIDATA serves as a data repository for its members and other participating members of the public. It is a non-profit cooperative facility that operates without offering financial incentives, similarly to blood donation services, for instance. The account holders are not paid for their intentional and voluntary «data donation». The revenue generated from the integration of their data into a scientific study is reinvested in the services offered on the platform and in a variety of smaller research projects. Start-ups, IT service providers and research groups can use the platform to offer mobile apps, such as health apps or apps for treating and monitoring patients with chronic illnesses. MIDATA is currently being used in a number of scientific health projects. In one particular project being conducted at University Hospital Zurich, for example, multiple sclerosis patients are being included in a study into the effect of treatments, which uses a tablet app to test their cognitive and motor skills. A further project, currently in development at ETH Zurich, will look at different training methods and the impact they have on muscle growth. More and more projects are being run that are directed at a wide section of the population and are of value to many – as is the case with the «Ally Science» project.



Freedom and individual responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and open-mindedness: ETH Zurich stands on a bedrock of true Swiss values. Our university for science and technology dates back to the year 1855, when the founders of modern-day Switzerland created it as a centre of innovation and knowledge.

At ETH Zurich, students discover an ideal environment for independent thinking, researchers a climate which inspires top performance. Situated in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, ETH Zurich is pioneering effective solutions to the global challenges of today and tomorrow.



Pioneering technology company Dyson has made it its mission to take everyday products and improve on them with innovative ideas. Dyson stands for inventive and allergy-friendly developments, especially in the sectors of floorcare and climate control.

More than 40 air purifiers and vacuum cleaners worldwide have been certified by Service Allergie Suisse and carry the organisation’s seal of approval, the Allergy Label. Dyson is Europe’s only manufacturer of household appliances to operate its own microbiological laboratory and boasts over 25 years of experience in HEPA filtration and filter materials. The in-house microbiology laboratory gives the project engineering teams new opportunities for research and support in their bid to develop and improve products that are good for our health and hygiene.



Technical and competence partner

ELCA makes it work. For 50 years now we’ve been helping our customers improve processes and valorisation of the data to the benefit of their customers, by developing IT solutions and applications like ALLY APP.

Our multidisciplinary teams combine state-of-the-art technological expertise with creative design and medical knowledge to make patients’ lives easier.



Superhuit is a digital agency specialising in brand and Web solutions. From Lausanne to Porto, its multidisciplinary team focuses on creating engaging user experiences that increase organisations impact.


aha! Swiss Allergy Centre is an independent, non-profit foundation, focusing on the needs and interests of allergy sufferers as well as helping them find better quality of life by means of active prevention. www.aha.ch

aha! Swiss Allergy Centre is an independent, non-profit foundation, focusing on the needs and interests of allergy sufferers as well as helping them find better quality of life by means of active prevention.



The Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss, is Switzerland’s national weather and meteorology service.

Our public service underpins the foundations of weather and meteorological information in Switzerland, and plays an integral part in the safety and well-being of the people of Switzerland.





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