Apple Announces New Health Studies and Research App

University of Michigan teams up with Apple for research on hearing health

Apple unveils large-scale research studies tracking activity, hearing and women's health

Apple announced three new health studies Tuesday. "You decide what data you want to share" with the studies, Apple stated. These studies will be available on Apple's Research app. This study indicates that Apple's interest in these areas does not mean that it will release innovative products to cater to them.

Apple plans to "democratise how medical research is conducted" by bringing together academic medical institutions, healthcare organisations, and Apple products. The goal was to see if the Apple Watch and its heart-rate sensor could accurately detect irregularities in people's heartbeat. Instead, these users are more likely to get a false positive. Apple kind of glossed over that one and we are curious about the "study" part here. As the Apple Heart Study demonstrates, not conflating the fact that Apple simply did a study, with what the study actually proved, will be crucial in evaluating the importance of the research and of the Apple Watch in the future.

Apple has made the studies public and they are available to download on their official site.

The studies are Apple Women's Health Study, Apple Heart and Movement Study, and Apple Hearing Study. Analysis of this data over time will help researchers understand how everyday sound exposure can impact hearing.

The University of MI is teaming up with Apple to examine the factors impacting hearing health, the tech giant announced Tuesday, Sept. 10. At WWDC in June, Apple launched "decibel monitoring" as a function on watchOS 6. This wearable space is still nascent and the studies are going underway to measure whether these devices can do more helping for healthy people to stay fit. You may know those as earbuds and AirPods. The goal is to create a longterm study focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions.

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 gynaecological conditions. The study data will also be shared with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a contribution toward its Make Listening Safe initiative. A fertility-tracking app, DOT, undertook a study that showed it was a successful method of pregnancy prevention, but that doesn't appear to be the aim of the Apple study.

Apple in the event chose to share the news of its expansion and further continuation in the health studies that will oversee and will help Apple develop future technology.

Apple's previous heart-focused study canvassed more than 400,000 people in the US over just eight months, searching for irregular heart rhythms that may be linked to atrial fibrillation by using the smartwatch's pulse rate tracker.

Tim Cook mentioned that Apple wouldn't have any access to health information that "directly identifies you", but that doesn't mean you're not doing them a big favor.

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