Apple is working with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to launch a three-year study to understand how sleep, physical activity, heart rate and daily work affect anxiety and depression,media Macrumors reported, citing CNBC. The study, designed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Apple, will begin this week and will use the iPhones, Apple Watch and Beddit sleep trackers owned and sold by Apple. UCLA and Apple hope the study will “revolutionise the detection and treatment of depression.”
Linking quantitative data such as heart rate, sleep, and physical activity to anxiety and depressive symptoms has the potential to alert health care providers to warning signs and prevent depressive episodes, track treatment, and identify the causes of depression. The study’s lead researcher, he is. Dr. Nelson Freimer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the study, said:
“This collaboration leverages UCLA’s deep research expertise and Apple’s innovative technology to potentially transform behavioral health research and clinical care. Current treatments for depression rely almost entirely on subjective recollections in patients with depression. This is an important step in obtaining objective and accurate measurements to guide diagnosis and treatment. “
“UCLA and Apple designed the study so that all aspects of participation can be done remotely. The epidemic exacerbates anxiety and depression globally and raises awareness of the importance of behavioral health for overall health. At the same time, the requirement of physical distance limits face-to-face mental health assessment and treatment, leading to the use and acceptance of telemedicine. These changes underscore the importance of incorporating technologies like those to be tested in this study into clinical studies and eventually into practice. “
The pilot phase of the study, which begins this week, will involve 150 participants recruited from UCLA Health patients. The main phase of the study, which will run from 2021 to 2023, will involve 3,000 participants from UCLA Health patients and UCLA student groups, so this is not a study that can be done using Apple’s health app.
The study participants will download UCLA’s research app on their iPhone and will receive an Apple Watch and Beddit sleep monitor as part of their study.
Data from study participants will be kept safe and accessible only to members of the UCLA research team. The data will be analyzed by Apple and UCLA after coding and stripping names and other contact information.