Apple's new Research app helps users track health, contribute to health studies

Apple users can choose to participate in the Women's Health Study through the Research app. — Image courtesy of Apple via AFP
Apple users can choose to participate in the Women's Health Study through the Research app. — Image courtesy of Apple via AFP

CUPERTINO, Nov 16 — With the newly launched Research app, users can enroll in and contribute health information to Apple's Women's Health, Heart and Movement and Hearing Studies.

On Thursday, Apple released the Research mobile app which lets users participate and contribute information to long-term, multi-year health studies.

To partake, users have to enroll in each study that they would like to participate in and then decide how much data they are willing to share. Three studies are being conducted:

Women's Health Study

Apple's Women's Health Study was designed to help researchers better understand periods and their relationship to overall well-being and various health conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, and osteoporosis. Information that will be collected for this study include cycle-tracking information and monthly surveys which aim to help people understand the unique menstrual experience of each contributor.

Heart and Movement Study

The Apple Heart and Movement Study measures both the quality and quantity of participants' movement in an attempt to understand how each factor relates to their current and future health. The purpose of this study is to “promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health” by finding how heart rate and rhythms could signal atrial fibrillation, heart disease, or declining mobility.

Hearing Study

Lastly, Apple's Hearing Study has been designed to help researchers understand how sound exposure is related to hearing health and stress. This study tracks headphone usage and collects data about environmental sound exposure.

More specifically, “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.”

Apple intends to use this information to make “potentially groundbreaking medical discoveries” which will then pave the way for the “next generation of innovative health products.”

Right now, the Research app, which is free to download, is only available to US customers. It's available both for both iPhones and Apple Watches. — AFP-Relaxnews