Apple launches Research app to recruit clinical trial participants

Apple opened enrollment for three health studies, each designed and conducted in partnership with leading academic and research institutions, via the new Research app, available for download as of Nov. 14.

After completing the enrollment process within the app, participants will automatically contribute data to the studies from their Apple Watches and iPhones regarding movement, heart rate, menstruation, noise levels and other health factors.

In a consent form presented to participants during the enrollment process, Apple promises not to sell health data and to detail how data will be used in each study. Additionally, participants can decide which data they want to share, and can decide to stop sharing data or leave any of the studies at any time.

"Today marks an important moment as we embark on research initiatives that may offer incredible learnings in areas long sought after by the medical community," Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a Nov. 14 statement about the launch of the app and studies. "Participants on the Research app have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact that could lead to new discoveries and help millions lead healthier lives."

The trio of studies, announced in September, include a women's health study, in partnership with Boston-based Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; a heart and movement study, designed alongside Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital and the American Heart Association; and a hearing study, in collaboration with Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan and the World Health Organization.

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