Apple’s Research App launches with health related studies.

After being announced on the 2019 September event, the Reseach app has been released for customers in the US. Alongside this, users can now enroll in the three new health studies: the Apple Women’s Health Study, the Apple Heart and Movement Study, and the Apple Hearing Study. These three studies are being conducted in association with remarkable academic and research institutions, which have been conducted for some years now with a variety of subjects. Now, users can take part in groundbreaking scientific studies, which could usher a new and exciting wave of health discoveries alongside the newest Apple products.

With the new health-related features of Apple Watch, like the ECG readings and the hearing tests made with the watch’s microphone, it is easier for users to contribute with their data in a new, more streamlined process for user’s enrollment with the reassurance that their data will be secure with Apple’s privacy features. Being that these devices are tied to the user’s wrists at all times, there is an amazing potential for data recollection, helping institutions gather enough subjects for testing of their scientific hypotheses and developing tools to make life easier for all of us.

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Going into detail about what these three new studies englobe, we have the Apple Women’s Health Study first. This study is aiming to achieve a better understanding of menstrual cycles and their relationship to various conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, and osteoporosis, among others. This study is being conducted alongside the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) using data from the Apple Watch’s new menstrual tracking features and the ones programmed into the iOS Health app. This study’s purpose is to analyze the impact of certain behaviors and other activities on reproductive health and other related topics.

Then we have the Apple Heart and Movement Study, being conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association. The main purpose of this study is to relate certain mobility signals and details that could relate to atrial fibrillation (AFib) and other heart diseases, in order to develop new and exciting inventions that could help users lead a healthier and longer life with physical activity. The data can be collected with the workouts registered with the Apple Watch Series 1 or later, making this accessible to all Apple Watch users.

Lastly but not least, we have the Apple Hearing Study, being conducted in partnership with the University of Michigan. This study focuses on how long-term sound exposure can impact stress levels and cardiovascular health. Taking data from the listening behaviors from the Noise detection feature from the Health app, two groups of researchers will asses these data and patterns, alongside the possible repercussions. Data from this study will also be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) in their Make Listening Safe initiative to raise awareness of hearing loss problems.

Of course, being one of the leading values at Apple, Privacy in the collection of data is of the utmost importance at the company, meaning that data is only collected when the user approves. Also, a clear enrollment flow will be included, detailing consent and different uses of their data, allowing them to choose what to share with each study.

Are you joining these studies yourself for the progress of medicine and health? Do you think this is an interesting move by Apple? Tell us your opinion down below!

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Emilio Morales
Author: Emilio Morales

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