Apple to offer access to three new medical studies

11 September 2019 (Last Updated September 11th, 2019 12:36)

Apple has partnered with academic and research institutions in the US to enable participation in three medical studies via its new Research app later this year.

Apple to offer access to three new medical studies
The Apple Heart and Movement Study will look into the connection of heart health and mobility signals, such as walking pace. Credit: Apple Inc.

Apple has partnered with academic and research institutions in the US to enable participation in three medical studies via its new Research app later this year.

The smartphone Research app will allow Apple Watch users to participate in women’s health, heart and movement and hearing studies.

To be performed in alliance with Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Apple Women’s Health Study focuses on menstrual cycles and gynaecological conditions.

The study is meant to provide information on screening and risk evaluation of women’s health conditions, such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, pregnancy complications, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menopausal transition and infertility.

Meanwhile, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association will conduct the Apple Heart and Movement Study.

The study is designed to improve heart health and healthy movement by exploring how heart rate and mobility signals affect hospitalisations, heart health, falls and quality of life.

During the Apple Hearing Study, the University of Michigan will work to understand the impact of noise exposure on hearing through measurement of the users’ level of everyday sound exposure.

University of Michigan School of Public Health environmental health sciences and global public health associate professor Rick Neitzel said: “This unique dataset will allow us to create something the US has never had – national-level estimates of exposures to music and environmental sound.

“Collectively, this information will help give us a clearer picture of hearing health in America and will increase our knowledge about the impacts of our daily exposures to music and noise.”

Apple has said that they will leverage data from these studies for potential medical discoveries and the development of new health products.

In January, Apple collaborated with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) division Janssen Pharmaceuticals on a study centred on diagnosis and outcomes in atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients.

The study looked into the combination of J&J’s heart health monitoring app with the Apple Watch irregular rhythm notifications feature and ECG app.