The New York Times – “The company’s tools enable researchers to track huge numbers of people. But doctors do not yet know if it will significantly improve health outcomes. “In 1976, the Harvard School of Public Health and two other major medical institutions started a study on nurses that has become one of the largest and longest research efforts ever conducted on women’s health. They have so far enrolled more than 275,000 participants. On Thursday, the Harvard school announced an even more ambitious women’s health study, one that aims to enroll a million women over a decade. The new ingredients allowing the huge scale: Apple’s iPhones, apps and money. Harvard’s new study is just one of three new large research efforts that Apple is working on with leading academic research centers and health organizations. Together, the studies, which Apple is paying for, show how the Silicon Valley giant and its popular products are reshaping medical research…Apple tools are enabling large-scale virtual studies that can follow people as they go about their daily lives. The company has developed a research app for iPhones — which participants can download from its app store — that is helping researchers quickly and easily recruit hundreds of thousands of study volunteers.
Researchers at Stanford Medicine, who studied whether an app on the Apple Watch could detect an irregular heartbeat condition, were able to enroll more than 400,000 participants in just eight months. Apple helped recruit volunteers by promoting the study, which was published on Wednesday, in its app store and emailing customers who had bought Apple Watches…”