Apple today has announced they are opening enrolment to 3 new health initiatives, the Apple Heart and Movement, Women’s Health and Hearing studies.
Using the also newly released Research app, available for download today from the App Store, “participants can contribute to potentially groundbreaking medical discoveries with iPhone and Apple Watch, and help create the next generation of innovative health products.”
“Today marks an important moment as we embark on research initiatives that may offer incredible learnings in areas long sought after by the medical community,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Participants on the Research app have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact that could lead to new discoveries and help millions lead healthier lives.”Apple press statement
The Apple Heart and Movement Study
This health initiative “is a broad study of factors that affect heart health and potentially cause deterioration in mobility or overall well-being, in an effort to promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health.”
Users with any Apple Watch can have their workout recorded, which “With Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association, Apple is taking on this study to understand how certain mobility signals and details about heart rate and rhythm could serve as potential early warning signs..”
The Apple Hearing Study
With this study, “Alongside the University of Michigan, the study will also determine how long-term sound exposure can impact stress levels and cardiovascular health. Participants will be randomly assigned to two groups within the study to assess if receiving Health app notifications when loud sound exposure is detected can motivate users to modify their listening behaviors.”
This study would also directly related to the hearing health features included in the latest Apple Watch lineup.
The Apple Women’s Health Study
“The Apple Women’s Health Study is the first long-term study of this scale and scope; it aims to advance the understanding of menstrual cycles and their relationship to various health conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis and menopausal transition.”
Apple notes its partnership with key players in the field including, “Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the study will use iPhone and Apple Watch to collect study-specific data like cycle tracking information.”
As one of its core values, Apple believes that privacy is a fundamental human right. Therefore privacy is built into all products and services from the beginning. The Research app was carefully created to only share data with the chosen studies when the user approves. It also includes a clear enrollment flow with detailed consent that explains how data will be used and allows a user to control the type of data shared with each study.