Latest ResearchKit app taps Watson Health to study sleep

SleepHealth, an app designed for mobile devices by IBM and the American Sleep Apnea Association, is launching a study to highlight connections between health and sleep habits. SleepHealth is the first ResearchKit study to collect data via Watson Health Cloud by enabling users to submit surveys and other information through their smartphones.

Based on patient input about daytime activities, alertness, productivity, general health and medical conditions, the researchers hope to draw meaningful conclusions about what does and doesn't impact sleep, which is a significant factor in disease management for a number of chronic conditions.

"We've made life the laboratory for this study by crowd-sourcing data and input to achieve an unprecedented understanding of sleep in a non-invasive manner," Carl Stepnowsky, PhD, the principal investigator for the study and associate professor at University of California at San Diego, said in a statement. "This study also marks the Association's commitment to patient-led research and data-driven discovery. With ResearchKit and Watson Health Cloud, this new app will help us build the world's largest longitudinal study to collect data on both healthy and unhealthy sleepers that can be published as an open study and shared with other researchers."

The app will also provide insights on individuals' sleep habits and provide feedback for general sleep hygiene and well-being, according to the researchers. 

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