investigate whether the Apple Watch can assess cognitive health

Biogen ha announced a new cooperation with Apple in the form of a cognitive health study. This study will use the data that the iPhone and Apple Watch collect from the participants to determine if the clock is capable of detecting biomarkers that may indicate losses in cognitive health.

The importance of hardware and software in health


This study is one more within the clinical research program that Apple has underway in the United States. Thanks to him companies try to find patterns in the data that sensors from the Apple Watch you can collect and correlate them to draw insights of value. Jeff Williams, COO of Apple, has expressed himself in this regard:

Working in collaboration with Biogen we hope that this study can help the medical community better understand a person’s cognitive performance simply by engaging them with their Apple Watch and iPhone. We are looking forward to learning about the impact our technology can have on delivering better health outcomes through better detection of cognitive health decline.

Apple Watch Series 5 Heart Rate Screen 091019 Inline Jpg Medium 2x
Apple Watch Series 5 Heart Rate Screen 091019 Inline Jpg Medium 2x

The truth is that beyond this particular study, there seem to be more and more applications that the Apple Watch has in the field of medicine, and all this revolves around the software. A few years ago, when we saw the first iPhone they had a gyroscope, that is, they could tell if they were with the screen facing up or down. At the time we gracefully discovered the three-axis gyroscope that Steve Jobs used to play Jenga. Years later, thanks to this same gyroscope, slightly evolved of course, the Apple Watch is capable of measuring with total precision the steps we take in a day.

And not only the steps, it is capable of measuring falls, turning on the clock screen when we look at it, counting the meters advanced while swimming in a pool and, apparently, detecting the cognitive health of a person. The truth is that we are all waiting for the next generation of the Apple Watch to carry even more sensors, but it seems that the impact on health and its analysis will come hand in hand with the software, from models trained to use the data we already have to draw increasingly concrete conclusions.

Like this one, Apple’s studies, while only available in the United States for now, are an excellent resource for scientific community when developing these detection algorithms. In the case of the Biogen study, which will begin in a few months, being able to analyze the first symptoms and signs of a decline in cognitive health with the scope of participants and data that only Apple users can provide is undoubtedly excellent news. .

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Tim Cook has already said in several interviews that Apple’s greatest contribution will be in the medical field. And one of the most important pillars, if not the first of this contribution, is the clinical studies that are being carried out. True, they are, for many, totally unknown, but of vital importance. Who would have told us what an Apple Watch is capable of.

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