Apple Unveiled Three New Health Studies

27 November 2019

Conducted in partnership with leading academic and research institutions – among others with the World Health Organization, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, American Heart Association, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – these multi-year longitudinal studies are available in the new Research app.

After enrolling in a study, participants in the USA using Apple Watch and iPhone can contribute useful data around movement, heart rate and noise levels – captured during everyday activities.

“Participants on the Research app have the opportunity to make an impact that could lead to important discoveries and help millions lead healthier lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

The Apple Women’s Health Study

There is a great opportunity to understand better menstrual cycles and how they relate to women’s health. The Apple Women’s Health Study is the first long-term study of this scale and scope; it aims to advance the understanding of menstrual cycles and their relationship to various health conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis and the menopausal transition. Conducted in partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the study will use iPhone and Apple Watch to collect study-specific data like cycle tracking information and use monthly surveys to understand each participant’s unique menstrual experience. The study seeks to analyse the impact of certain behaviours and habits on a wide breadth of reproductive health topics.

The Apple Women’s Health Study aims to advance the understanding of menstrual cycles and their relationship to various health conditions with scale and scope that has never before been reached (photo credit: Apple).

The Apple Heart and Movement Study

Measuring the quality and quantity of a person’s movement can provide insight into their current and future health status. The Apple Heart and Movement Study is a broad study of factors that affect heart health and potentially cause deterioration in mobility or overall well-being, in an effort to promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health. Users can participate by using the Research app on their iPhone and recording workouts on their Apple Watch Series 1 or later. With Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association, Apple is taking on this study to understand how specific mobility signals and details about heart rate and rhythm could serve as potential early warning signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), heart disease or declining mobility, to build new interventions that could help consumers lead longer, healthier and more active lives.

The Apple Heart and Movement Study will broadly study the factors affecting heart health and mobility signals (photo credit: Apple).

The Apple Hearing Study

The impact of sound exposure on hearing health and stress levels over time is not well understood. The Apple Hearing Study will collect headphone usage and environmental sound exposure data through the iPhone and the Noise app on Apple Watch, in order to explore how both can impact hearing over time. Alongside the University of Michigan, the study will also determine how long-term sound exposure can impact stress levels and cardiovascular health. Participants will be randomly assigned to two groups within the study to assess if receiving Health app notifications when loud sound exposure is detected can motivate users to modify their listening behaviours. Data from the study will also be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Make Listening Safe initiative to raise awareness of safe listening practices with the aim of reducing hearing loss.

The Apple Hearing Study will collect information to explore how exposure to sound over time can affect hearing (photo credit: Apple).