- The Apple Research app will allow Apple Watch user to opt into medical research studies, which will share health statistics from your Watch with Apple.
- Three studies have already been announced, including a women's study on menstrual cycles, a heart and movement study, and one focusing on hearing health.
- The app will be available for Apple Watch later this year, though the official release date is not yet announced.
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Apple has announced a new Research app for the Apple Watch, designed to allow US Apple Watch owners to participate in health research studies. The app was revealed at the Apple Event on September 10, where new products like the iPhone 11, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple TV+ were also unveiled.
The Apple Research App will gather health and movement information from each participant's Apple Watch, and send it to Apple to be studied.
The goal of the app is to allow users interested in participating in health studies to play a role in health research easily and privately, simply by wearing the Apple Watch.
At the event, Apple said the app will collect data without personal information, so it won't be possible to associate specific users with the medical data being collected.
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What each Apple Research study involves
As an example of the kind of work the Research app can accomplish, three studies were announced at the event:
- Apple Women's Health Study. Apple is working with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on a long-term study on "menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions."
- Apple Heart and Movement Study. Apple is working with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the American Heart Association for an extensive study on how heart rate and mobility (like walking and stair climbing) relate to hospitalization rates, heart health, falls, and other data related to quality of life.
- Apple Hearing Study. Apple is working with the University of Michigan to examine factors that affect hearing health in order to understand how routine sound exposure can cause our hearing to deteriorate.
This initiative — both the app and the associated studies — is an extension of the work Apple has already done to market the Apple Watch as a health device. In 2017, for example, Apple conducted its expansive Apple Heart Study that included more than 400,000 participants.
The app will be available for download later this year, though Apple has not specified a release date.
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