Please Update Your Personal Details

Perhaps you’ve moved address or got a new mobile number? We need to know changes like these, so that we can follow your health and mobile usage long-term.
Please update your details via email: ukcosmos@imperial.ac.uk or call Freephone 08000 270 270 and we will update your records.

The Study

Key details of the study are shown below. For more in-depth information about the COSMOS study please read our Participant Information Booklet or visit our Science section.
What is COSMOS?

COSMOS (COhort Study of MObile phone uSe and health) is an international cohort study investigating possible health effects from long-term use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies. The aim of the study is to carry out long-term health monitoring of a large group of people so that we can identify if there are any possible health issues linked to using mobile phones and other wireless technologies over a long period of time.

Who is behind the study?
In the UK, the study is run by the COSMOS team at MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College, London, and funded by the Department of Health. COSMOS also receives support from industry in the form of mobile phone use data provided by network operators. Click here to find out more about how the study is funded. Our team is also joined by five partner teams across Europe in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and France who make up the international COSMOS team.
How many people are taking part?

Today, COSMOS has close to 105,000 participants in the UK alone. And while we make up the biggest portion of the international cohort, there are more than 300,000 people taking part across Europe.

Why is this research being done?
Widespread use of mobile phones in society has been a relatively recent phenomenon. There are still unanswered questions about whether this new technology causes any long-term health effects. As such, many health agencies worldwide have endorsed the need for this kind of study, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). Through COSMOS, we will be able to resolve the current uncertainties about the possibility of long-term health effects caused by mobile phone technology. For more detailed information about the research background to the study please click here.
Funding
COSMOS was commissioned by the Department of Health, and is currently funded solely by the Department of Health. Previously, the study was jointly funded by industry and government, via the independent Mobile Telecommunications & Health Research Programme (MTHR).
How does it work?
In 2010 and 2012, we invited members of the public to fill out a questionnaire about themselves and their health. This baseline questionnaire will be followed up at regular intervals by further questionnaires to monitor changes in participants’ health and use of mobile phones and other wireless technology. The questionnaire also gathers information on a range of other important factors which need to be accounted for. This includes information such as sleep quality and reproductive health, indoor and outdoor environmental factors such as air pollution and traffic noise, and measures of lifestyle, social factors and demographics. We will also link the data we gather from questionnaires to participants’ health registry records and mobile phone traffic data (provided that separate consent has been given). This data linkage is vital to provide us with objective measures of health and mobile phone use.
What have we learned so far?

As COSMOS is a long-term study, we will need to wait a number of years for the research to be completed. However, results of various analyses will be made available throughout the course of the study. If you’re interested in reading more about our findings so far, click here.

How we're keeping participants’ personal data safe

Participants’ privacy, and the appropriate use and protection of participants’ data are paramount. Imperial College will ensure the research complies fully with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. All individually identifiable data (such as name and address) is dealt with in the strictest confidence. All participant data will be stored on a secure computer network at Imperial College. The results of this study will be published following independent review, but no individually identifiable data will ever be published. For further information, please read our Participant Information Booklet.

Can I join the COSMOS study?
Thank you for your interest, but we are no longer recruiting participants for COSMOS. Please do check back regularly for the latest study news.

XMobiSense App

In order to collect additional mobile phone data that we cannot obtain from network operators, we are also launching a phone usage app called XMobiSense as part of the study. 

The XMobiSense App is only for Android smartphones (e.g. Samsung, Moto, LG etc.) and runs in the background to collect important usage information. These data include: use of speaker phone or other hands-free kits, which side of the head voice calls are made on, the volume of uploads/downloads over WiFi or mobile phone network. The XMobiSense App will periodically upload these data to a secure server at Imperial College when your phone is connected to WiFi. The app does not reduce battery life. For an average mobile phone user, the amount of data that is uploaded is minimal - in the order of 0.3Mb per day.

The app does not collect information identifying who you are in contact with such as phone numbers, nor the content of calls or messages, nor addresses of websites visited.

We encourage any study participants who would like to further contribute to the COSMOS study to download and keep this app running on their mobile phone for at least two weeks. Please note, however, that this is an entirely optional part of the study.

To download the XMobiSense App, please choose the UK version from our international COSMOS webpage.

UK Research Team

Professor Paul Elliott
Professor Paul Elliott
Principal Investigator, Head of Department of Epidemiology
Professor Paul Elliott, MBBS, PhD, FMedSci, trained in clinical medicine and epidemiology as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow at St Mary's Hospital London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

He studied for his PhD in Epidemiology on the INTERSALT Study under the mentorship of Professor Geoffrey Rose. He remained at the London School working as a lecturer, then senior lecturer and reader in epidemiology before becoming Head of the Environmental Epidemiology Unit at LSHTM 1990. In 1995 he was appointed to the Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at Imperial College London. He heads what is now the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health. The Department has expanded significantly during recent years to encompass a wide-ranging programme of health research and extensive collaborations with honorary and visiting staff. Paul Elliott is also Director of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health which sits within the Department and includes the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU). He is also an honorary consultant in public health medicine in the Directorate of Primary Care and Public Health of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the academic lead for the Biobanking research theme for the Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. He was recently appointed as the Academic Health Sciences Centre's (AHSC) Director of Information Governance.

Dr Mireille B Toledano
Dr Mireille B Toledano
Co-Principal Investigator, Reader in Epidemiology
Dr Mireille Toledano is a reader in epidemiology at Imperial College London and an investigator of the MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health specialising in environmental and spatial epidemiology.

She was awarded her undergraduate degree from University College London, a Master's degree in environmental epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and her PhD from Imperial College London. She is currently a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a co-author of the Oxford Handbook series ‘Epidemiology for Clinicians’. Much of her work to date has focused on early life environmental exposures, including leading the environment theme of the new UK-wide Life Study and collaborative projects with various birth cohorts across Europe, assessing exposure at individual level through questionnaire data, biomarkers, and global metabonomic profiling. She also has over 10 years expertise in spatial epidemiology and the use of routinely collected data and geographical information systems (GIS) for small area health studies at the SAHSU. Her work in this field has included studies of birth outcomes and water disinfection by-products, waste incineration, and air and noise pollution, as well as investigations of cancer trends and clustering, in particular for primary liver tumours. Her special interest is in the field of non-ionizing radiation epidemiology, having worked on several major projects including national studies of adult cancers near overhead power lines and childhood cancers in proximity to mobile phone base stations.

International Team

Denmark Denmark Study Centre: Danish Cancer Society Research Center Number of participants: around 30,000 Principal Investigator: Dr Aslak Harbo Poulsen Email: aslak@cancer.dk Website: www.cancer.dk/cosmos
Finland Finland Study Centre: School of Public Health at Tampere University Number of participants: around 15,000 Principal Investigator: Professor Anssi Auvinen Email: anssi.auvinen@uta.fi
France France Study Centre: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Number of participants: around 50,000 Principal Investigator: Dr Joachim Schüz Email: SchuzJ@iarc.fr
Netherlands Netherlands Study Centre: Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at Utrecht University Number of participants: around 90,000 Principal Investigator: Professor Hans Kromhout Email: h.kromhout@uu.nl
Sweden Sweden Study Centre: Karolinska Institute Number of participants: around 50,000 Principal Investigator: Professor Maria Feychting Email: cosmos@imm.ki.se Website: www.imm.ki.se/cosmos
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