New large heart health studies planned among smartwatch users
Apple has announced three unprecedented medical studies, in partnership with leading academic and research institutions, that will reach more participants than has ever been possible. The studies will be available on the new Research app. 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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Today’s announcement carries our commitment to health even further by engaging with participants on a larger scale than ever before.”
Apple Heart and Movement Study: Apple is partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association (AHA) 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’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.
The two other health studies that will be started using the Research app are:
- Apple Women’s Health Study: 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 Hearing Study: study into factors that impact hearing health. 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.