Apple is rolling out 3 new health studies, and anyone with an iPhone can participate - here's how to sign up
- Apple rolled out a new app Thursday called "Research," which allows iPhone users to participate in years-long health studies that track data from their phones.
- The app is currently promoting three open studies on women's health, heart and movement, and hearing.
- Apple's first health study, published this week, collected data from users and concluded that Apple Watches can help detect heart problems.
- Any iPhone user can enroll - the process for signing up is outlined below.
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Smartphones and wearable gadgets are capable of gauging an unprecedented amount of health data from users - now, Apple wants to harness that data for medical research.
The new Apple Research app, which rolled out for iPhone users Thursday, lets people sign up to participate in years-long health studies. The studies gauge data ranging from the number of steps a users take to the volume of their headphones and share it with research teams Apple has partnered with.
Apple successfully completed a similar study earlier this year, which tracked data from Apple Watch users. The study was published this week and found that the Apple Watch's sensors are capable of detecting heart problems.
The method of recruiting study participants from a huge pool of iPhone users is unprecedented in the medical field, posing its share of unique benefits and challenges. While Apple's previous study was effective in providing detailed biometric data about a range of subjects, it also faced a high dropout rate - 79% of people selected for the study either didn't complete it or dropped out.
Here's how you can download the Research app and sign up to participate in one of Apple's open studies.
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To download the app, go to the app store on an iOS device and search for Apple Research.
Once you open the app, you'll be greeted with an explainer laying out how Apple intends to use your health data as a study participant.
Apple is quick to reassure would-be participants that the studies keep their information confidential, along with other privacy disclaimers.
There are three studies currently open: women's health, heart and movement, and hearing. For this walkthrough, I started the process of enrolling in the hearing study.
The app lays out the expectations for participating in the study. For the hearing study, most of the data is collected passively, along with periodic surveys and hearing tests.
Before enrolling, Apple collects users' signatures consenting to the study, as well as demographic information.
Here are all the data points that the hearing study would collect from a user's phone day to day.
After enrolling, users are presented with a dashboard that assigns them tasks and tracks their progress in the study.
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