Apple Watch Series 5 was not the only mHealth-related news from the Cupertino-based giant; the company also announced three new medical studies, in partnership with leading academic and research institutions that will reach more participants than has ever been possible.
Available on the new Research app, the studies will see participants contributing to potential medical discoveries and helping create the next generation of innovative health products. The Research app will be available as a free download in the App Store later this year.
“With the Apple Heart Study, we found that we could positively impact medical research in ways that help patients today and that make contributions that will benefit future generations,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement carries our commitment to health even further by engaging with participants on a larger scale than ever before.”
The studies include:
Apple Women’s Health Study
In partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Apple has created the first long-term study of this scale focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions. This study will inform screening and risk assessment of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis, pregnancy and menopausal transition.
Apple Heart and Movement Study
Apple is partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association on a comprehensive study of how heart rate and mobility signals — like walking pace and flights of stairs climbed — relate to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and quality of life in order to promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health.
Apple Hearing Study
Alongside the University of Michigan, Apple is examining factors that impact hearing health. The Apple Hearing Health Study is the first of its kind to collect data over time in order to understand how everyday sound exposure can impact hearing. The study data will also be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a contribution toward its Make Listening Safe initiative.
Apple’s support of the medical research community began with the introduction of ResearchKit and CareKit, which expanded the pace and scale at which healthcare could be studied and provided. Apple used ResearchKit to create the Apple Heart Study, which was the largest study of its kind and illustrated the impact virtual, large-scale studies can have on medical research by examining atrial fibrillation to provide validation for the irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch.