Apple Joins With Harvard University on a Major Women’s Health Research Project

Apple has announced that it will conduct three major studies on health in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and leading academic institutions. Using a new research app on smartphones and other mobile devices participants will contribute to the research as they go about their daily lives. The three studies are the Apple Women’s Health Study, the Apple Heart and Movement Study, and the Apple Hearing Study.

The Apple Women’s Health Study, a large-scale longitudinal study led by a team of researchers at Harvard University’s  T.H. Chan School of Public Health that will leverage participants’ voluntary use of a smartphone research app to advance understanding of menstrual and gynecological health. In recent years, researchers have acknowledged the need to reevaluate the relationship of menstruation to overall health outcomes in women. Treating the menstrual cycle as a vital sign — comparable to blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate, and respiration rate — could lead to the earlier detection of many health conditions, both gynecological and systemic, as well as a better understanding of women’s reproductive health and health needs across the lifespan.

“Women make up half of the world’s population, yet even today there has been limited investment in studying their unique health needs,” said Michelle A. Williams, a reproductive epidemiologist and dean of the faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School. “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.”

ALso, Apple is partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a research facility affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and the American Heart Association on the Heart and Movement Study, a comprehensive analysis of how heart rate and mobility signals — like walking pace and flights of stairs climbed — relate to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and quality of life in order to promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health.

The Apple Hearing Health Study, which will be conducted in conjunction with researchers at the University of Michigan, is the first of its kind to collect data over time in order to understand how everyday sound exposure can impact hearing.

Filed Under: Research/StudyWomen's Studies


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