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Apple launches Research App to track health

Apple announced in September that citizens of the company are planning research in three landmark health studies: Women’s Health Stud, Heart and Movement Study and Hearing Study. Today Apple launched an app on its play store “Research” and users can enroll in this research by downloading the app. The app is designed for iPhones and Apple watches.

According to the official press release from Apple, The process for a single study involves multiple steps — signing legal documents, including state-specific disclosures and a HIPAA form, then specifically authorizing sensor data gathering — and disclosure of the duration of the study.

For the women’s health study, the company has teamed with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. This research will analyze the impact of certain behaviors and habits on a wide breadth of reproductive health topics. women’s menstrual cycles and their relationship to infertility, osteoporosis, menopause and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Apple is taking heargt and movement study to understand how some certain mobility signals and details about heart rate and rhythm be potential early warning signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), heart disease or declining mobility, to build new interventions that could help people lead longer, healthier and more active lives. The heart and movement study is in partnership with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and will use Apple Watch data collected during workouts, plus heart rate and activity data, along with short surveys.

The hearing studies will be analyzed by the University of Michigan and the World Health Organization. The study will collect headphone usage and environmental sound exposure data through the iPhone and the Noise app on Apple Watch. Participants will be randomly assigned to two groups to evaluate if receiving Health app notifications when loud sound exposure is detected can motivate users to modify their listening behaviors.

Apple says the Research app will only share data with studies you’ve signed up for. The app explains how your data will be used, and you can control what information you share with each research team.

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