Background Information

What's special about DigiHero

DigiHero is an online study. You can answer surveys simply with your tablet, computer, or smartphone. This means we get your answers very quickly and can provide up-to-date information on current topics. In addition, our online surveys protect the environment and the wallet.

The surveys cover a wide range of topics concerning health, e.g. health behavior, utilization of health care services, as well as physical and mental well-being. Since DigiHero started in the middle of the corona pandemic, there are also surveys on the effects of the pandemic, on chains of infection in households, and on what is called Long-COVID.

In addition to the online surveys, other interesting sub-projects and study modules are planned as the study progresses. For example, we might invite you to sub-projects involving Dried blood spot testing (DBS), nasal swabs or examinations of physical health in local facilities. Furthermore, we may make use of modern technology such as watches that measure heart rate and movement.

Another special feature of DigiHero is that in the future other household members of the participant may be invited to take part in the study as well. This way, we can also study topics affecting the whole family from different perspectives.


Volunteers may register here on this website (only available in German for methodological reasons). Subsequently they will receive invitations via email to online surveys as well as other interesting sub-projects on different health topics.

We are planning to conduct about 3-4 surveys or sub-projects per year with different focal points and relevant subjects of health. The time required per survey is about 10 to 15 minutes. In the future, we may invite selected participants to in-person examinations in cooperation with local health facilities.

Your participation in the main online surveys and in every sub-project is always voluntary. For each and every inquiry, you decide whether you want to participate or not. You can withdraw your consent to participate at any time either via email or by calling our study office.

How to participate

There are two major ways to participate in the DigiHero Study:

Option 1: Anyone over the age of 18 with residency in Germany, sufficient knowledge of the German language, access to the internet, and a personal email address can participate in the DigiHero Study. If you are interested, you can register here (only available in German for methodological reasons).

Option 2: To reach as many people as possible and draw their attention to DigiHero, we asked residents’ registration offices in various regions of Germany to select addresses at random. According to the Federal Registration Act (§34, §46), registration offices may send us address data for research purposes. We sent informational letters with details about DigiHero to the selected addresses and personally invited them to participate in the study. All invitees may register here (only available in German for methodological reasons).

Your participation in the DigiHero Study is voluntary and there are no disadvantages if you do not wish to participate.

Data privacy and protection

Information for recipients of the DigiHero invitation letter and the DigiHero flyer can be found in this document (German only).

Information for participants in the DigiHero-study can be found in this document (German only).

When participating in the DigiHero-study, we acquire personal data (e.g. name, present address, and email address). Such information is needed to inform you of new study modules. For such purposes only, we collect and store your personal information on a separate and secure server.

All surveys are pseudonymized, i.e. using number combinations that do not indicate any of your personal data. Responses to surveys and questionnaires are kept separate from personal data on different secure server. Responses are never linked to personal data.

Access to personal data and responses is strictly controlled and only granted to authorized staff of the study.

Your pseudonymized data will be used to issue scientific publications. Beyond that, we will also make every effort to make results available to the general public.

Our goal is to keep DigiHero running for the foreseeable future. In case the DigiHero study has concluded, your data will be anonymized and preserved for another 10 years. Following that period, all personal data will be deleted.

Current status

DigiHero currently exists in 14 German federal states. In the remaining federal states, we are in the starting blocks to further expand the study. 

In the federal states Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, we have tried to write to people in all districts across the board and invite them to take part in the DigiHero study. In the other federal states, we selected random counties and regions. Thus, we are approaching our goal of conducting DigiHero nationwide. 

We have already written to almost 3 million people for our study. Every day, we can convince interested people of our study.  By the end of 2023, we had recruited almost 100,000 people. This size is necessary to obtain robust results and also to be able to investigate regional differences or differences in subgroups, for example.