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

13 Septembre, 2019, 01:33 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • University of Michigan teams up with Apple for research on hearing health

In the recent WWDC event on Tuesday Apple along with the new tech product ranges chose to announce its participation in various health studies that will mainly focus on the woman's health, hearing, and mobility.

In partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Apple created the first long-term study of this scale focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions.

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

"We are collaborating with Apple and Brigham and Women's Hospital on the Apple Heart and Movement Study to explore the correlation between a broad range of physical activities and a person's overall heart health to ultimately understand risks and interventions to improve health", said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, in a statement.

Hearing Study - In partnership with the University of MI, this study will look at how everyday sound exposure impacts hearing. Data from Apple's devices, ranging from how a person moves to how loud it is around them, will be used in the new studies. "This carries our commitment to health even further by engaging with participants on a larger scale than ever before". The announcement noted that the study data will be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a contribution to the organization's Make Listening Safe initiative.

Apple has been focused on developing new technology related to health for some time.

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The Apple Watch received FDA clearance previous year for its electrocardiogram feature, officially classifying it as a medical device capable of alerting its user to abnormal heart rhythms. The Hearing Study will be conducted alongside the University of MI, and Apple will be taking a look at factors that can affect hearing health.

Earlier this year, Apple and Stanford University School of Medicine came out with the Apple Heart Study.

Apple in the event made a decision to share the news of its expansion and further continuation in the health studies that will oversee and will help Apple develop future technology. Afib is an irregular heart beat, and people with the condition can experience shortness of breath and poor blood flow.

So while the expert jury is still out on whether routine heart monitoring in otherwise healthy people with an Apple Watch is a good idea, Apple lets its promotional videos, filled with anecdotes about the feature, say it anyway.

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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