Apple ramps up health studies

Technology giant Apple has announced three new medical studies it will be involved in with leading academic and research institutions.

The studies will be available on Apple’s new Research app, which brings together medical institutions, healthcare organizations and Apple products. According to Apple, the app will be available for free later this year.

The tech company has been increasing its presence in the healthcare space since the introduction of its Apple Watch smart watch that has fall detection and can even monitor and test heart health.

 Apple’s Heart study with Stanford, which measured more than 400,000 U.S. residents in the largest AFib screening effort to date, used Apple Watch to monitor heart rates for irregular pulses. The new studies continue the company’s efforts in the Heart study.

“With the Apple Heart Study, we found that we could positively impact medical research in ways that help patients today and that make contributions that will benefit future generations,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement carries our commitment to health even further by engaging with participants on a larger scale than ever before.”

Three studies

Apple specifically announced three new studies, including:

-Apple Women’s Health Study in partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The study focuses on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions and aims to inform screening and risk assessment of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, osteoporosis, pregnancy and menopausal transition.

“Women make up half of the world’s population, yet even today there has been limited investment in studying their unique health needs,” Michelle A. Williams, a reproductive epidemiologist and dean of the faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School, said in a statement. “This study, unprecedented in scope, will greatly advance our understanding of the biological and social determinants of women’s health, and lead to better health outcomes.”

-Apple Heart and Movement Study, with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association, will study how heart rate and mobility signals relate to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and quality of life to promote movement and improved cardiovascular health.

-Apple Hearing Study with the University of Michigan will examine factors that impact hearing health. It aims to collect data over time that reveals how sound exposure can impact hearing. The study will be shared with the World Health Organization to contribute to its Make Listening Safe campaign.