Apple's new Research app seeks to accelerate medical discoveries
According to Apple, the Research app will only share data with the chosen studies when the user approves.
US tech giant Apple announced today the launch of a new app named 'Research' to explore the potential impact of innovative products on health research. The launch comes hours after Stanford Medicine researchers' published the full findings of the Apple Heart Study that used data from Apple Watch to identify atrial fibrillation (AFib), a leading cause of stroke and hospitalization.
As the name suggests, this new app will be used to conduct health research which will further contribute to the development of innovative health products whilst simultaneously accelerating medical discoveries. In addition, participants can review available Apple research studies, study goals, and expectations and participate just by using iPhone and Apple Watch. The Research app is compatible with iOS 13.2 and watchOS 6.1 or later versions and can be downloaded from the App Store.
Using the app, one can participate in three different health studies, namely, the Apple Women's Health Study that aims to advance the understanding of menstrual cycles, the Apple Heart and Movement Study will focus on how a person's movement can provide insight into the present and future health status, and the Apple Hearing Study will explore how headphone usage and environmental sound exposure impact an individual's hearing over time.
Image Credit: App Store
The Apple Women's Health Study will be conducted in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). It will analyze the relationship between menstrual cycles and various gynecologic conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menopause and female infertility.
To be conducted in partnership with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Apple Heart and Movement Study will focus on improving cardiovascular health by studying the factors affecting heart health and subsequently the overall well-being of an individual.
The Apple Hearing Study will study the impact of sound exposure on hearing health and stress levels, jointly with the University of Michigan and the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Make Listening Safe, an initiative to promote safe listening practices to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
What about user privacy?
According to Apple, the Research app will only share data with the chosen studies when the user approves. Also, users will have the authority to join the study of their choice, review and manage the collected data and leave the enrolled studies at any time.