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How you can join Apple’s new health studies

Calling all iPhone and Apple Watch owners! Apple recently announced it is initiating three newly formed health studies, and it wants you to participate in them.

The announcement of these new studies came during Apple’s annual product launch event. Apple used this platform to emphasize how its phone and watch products can be used as healthcare tools. In order to obtain useful results from these studies, Apple is calling on its users to help with research.

We’ll give you all the details about Apple’s three new health studies, how you can take part with your iPhone and Apple Watch, and how Apple addresses data concerns.

What’s Apple’s health study all about?

These studies are a way to develop further medical insights from those millions of users who use Apple devices. It was recorded that in 2018, nearly half of all Americans who wear smartwatches own an Apple Watch.

Apple has decided to put those numbers to work, to help conduct multiple research studies in relation to various forms of health and wellness issues in the U.S.

Those who wish to participate in the study can do so by signing into the Health app and allowing researchers to have access to your results. So far, Apple has done a fine job keeping everyone’s medical data and results private from prying eyes.

The following are brief descriptions of the studies you can participate in.

How daily routines contribute to hearing loss

With the help of The World Health Organization and the University of Michigan, Apple’s new Hearing Health study looks to find a direct correlation between continuous sound and hearing loss. The study will focus on monitoring the high level of sound that people encounter during their daily routines and how that exposure can be affecting long-term hearing health.

This study will be the first of its kind to actually collect data over time to better understand how everyday sound exposure can have a lasting impact on hearing.

WHO’s Technical Officer of Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss, Dr. Shelly Chadha, stated, “With over a billion young people who could be at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening, WHO is addressing this challenge through raising awareness and setting new standards for safe listening.”

Related: Test your hearing now at home using this site

Women’s health study

This study will take a closer and more long-term look at women’s menstrual cycle patterns by using the Apple Watch’s new period tracking feature. This feature has the ability to screen for any underlying, internal conditions such as infertility, pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome and menopause.

Apple is conducting this study in partnership with Harvard and the National Institute of Environmental Health Studies.

Michelle A Williams, Dean of the faculty at Harvard stated, “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.”

Focus on heart and movement

By partnering with the American Heart Association and Brigham Women’s Hospital, Apple’s heart and movement study look to relate heart and motion data to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and the overall quality of life.

Related: Heart rate apps that don’t require a smartwatch

Movements such as walking pace and climbs up a flight of stairs will be recorded and therefore promote healthy movement as well as improved cardiovascular health.

According to Apple COO, Jeff Williams, the app has already proven to be a useful tool for detecting potential heart complications like AFib, the most common cause of stroke and hospitalizations.

“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,” says Williams.

What about my data?

If you’re concerned about Apple handling your health data, you’d be completely justified. The company is aware of public opinion concerning private data, so it explains:

  • Your data will never be sold.
  • You decide which studies you join, and you can leave the study at any time.
  • You control which types of data you share, and you can stop sharing your data at any time.
  • Studies must tell you how your data supports their research

If that’s not enough, Apple stated the program was designed to meet the technical safeguard requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, meaning the company will be unable to access any contact information or other identifying data.

Still interested? Sign up here.

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