Frequently Asked Questions

You may be wondering why you would want to install the NeuroQWERTY app in your computer, especially in the case that you do not suffer from any neurological conditions. Let us tell you in a few words what is so interesting about your typing activity:

  • Timing how often you type will allow us to know how much typing can be analyzed using our app. In itself, it is interesting to know how much people use their computers.
  • Timing your keyboard interactions at different times of the day and the week will allow us to uncover hidden rhythms and patterns that may be indicative of how sleepy you are, how much variation we see from the passing of the seasons, and whether we find a steady decline that may be symptomatic a of motor decline.
  • Down the road, analyzing your temporal patterns of typing performance together with your medical information, we may be able to learn how to tell apart those users who are suffering from a decline in their medical status. This will open pathways to prevention, early treatment and treatment adjustment for the benefit of patients (typers) around the globe.
If you are ready to contribute to our exciting research there a few simple steps to follow: Sign up with your e-mail account and provide some details about your medical status. All data gathered by our servers is fully anonymized, encrypted and will by no means be traceble back to you. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the NeuroQWERTY app on your laptop. The app will register accurate timing information about the way you type when you write e-mails, browse the web or work on your favorite word processor. No information about the actual words you type will be registered or stored in any form. You will need to be comitted to use your computer as often as possible, hopefully at least a few minutes a day, and make sure the app is turned off when other users access your computer so that we don’t mistake you for other typers.

1. Why do you care about the way people type?

We have preliminary evidence suggesting that the way people type is a strong indicator of their neurological health and state of alertness. Many reasons can affect the way you type, and many of them are relevant for your quality of life. You are already typing in your daily life. This represents a magnificent opportunity to understand the status of millions of people and eventually help to make the world a healthier place. All of it with negligible effort.

2. Why should I trust that you won’t be stealing sensitive information, or what I am actually typing in my personal computer?

First we want to give you our word that we will treat your information with the greatest possible respect. The NeuroQWERTY app will be sitting on your computer, and you will be able to inspect the raw information it captures, and verify with your own eyes what is actually being stored and transmitted. Your health information will be anonymously stored (you can provide an anonymous user name) in encrypted datasets. We will never ask you to give us our name or personal credentials.

If you have a hard time trusting us, trust your eyes. If you don’t trust those either we ask you to trust the institutions involved in this research, coordinated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and relying on the close supervision of MIT’s Institutional Review Board (COUHES) that reviews and evaluates our precedures and the ethical implications of our research.

3. I am healthy, why do you care how I type?

There may be healthy variations in the way people type over time. Some of these variations may be due to cyrcadian rhythms during the day or over the seasons. Certain activities or situations may temporarily alter your typing pattern.

In order to tell apart healthy variation from variations due to neurological decline we need to observe the typing of healthy individuals.

This means you will be contributing to the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of a major global burden like Parkinson’s disease and other severe conditions. All of this just by installing an app in your computer.

4. How much of my computing and network resources will be used up by the NeuroQWERTY up?

A completely unnoticeable amount. It will feel like zero.

5. Do I get to learn anything about the way I type?

By logging in into at this link you will be able to visualize wome cool stats about your typing. Stats including how often do you type and how your dexterity evolves during the day and the week.

Who knows? Maybe you realize that quitting coffee was not such a good idea after all...

6. How can I get the NeuroQWERTY app?

Click here.

7. Where do I see my data and can I download it?

If you login on this website you will be redirected to a page showing your data. In there you will be able to see a report with information about how much you have typed and the evolution of your hold time variable. Also, you will be able to download your raw data in a CSV file readable with any spreadsheet like Excel. We are currently working hard on various types of algorithms that could provide event more information, by downloading our app and using it you are greatly helping us on this! In the meantime, you can definitely compare your data with yourself! We have had various users who could infer very interesting information by looking at their personal trends.

8. What does the raw data contain?

It contains: the two timestamps of press and release events, the hold time and the key class. The key codes are: en -> enter, sp -> spacebar, bk -> backspace,md -> modifier keys (shift, ctrl, alt, win/mac key), lf -> left keys (from YHN), rg -> right keys (from UJM), NA -> not available.