Apple delves further into health ambitions with new Research app, health studies

First announced in September at its annual iPhone event, Apple has finally launched the Research app along with three health studies, as the tech giant furthers its ambitions in the health care environment .

The app, available for download today on the iPhone and Apple Watch in the U.S., lets users opt in to participate in three health studies — Women’s Health, Heart and Movement and the Hearing Study.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has worked with researchers and health care professionals on other studies in the past, but the launch of the Research app gives those who want to participate a simpler access to multiple studies.

(Credit: Apple)

(Credit: Apple)

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“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “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 app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store after searching for Apple Research.

Data that would be collected by the app include better understanding of women's menstrual cycles, motion levels, sound exposure and heart signals. The company added that users can withdraw from the studies at any time.

(Credit: Apple)

(Credit: Apple)

The women’s health study, done in conjunction with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, will use cycle tracking logs from the Health app on the iPhone or the Cycle Tracking app on the Apple Watch.

The heart and movement study, working in tandem with both the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will use Apple Watch data collected during workouts and other activities.

The hearing study comes from the University of Michigan and the World Health Organization and looks at sound exposure data from the iPhone, the Noise app on the Watch and surveys and hearing tests.

(Credit: Apple)

(Credit: Apple)

Apple, which has championed privacy for its users, sometimes putting it at odds with other big tech companies, said the data obtained by the app would only be shared with the studies if a person approves. "It also includes a clear enrollment flow with detailed consent that explains how data will be used and allows a user to control the type of data shared with each study," the Tim Cook-led company added in the release.

In September, a British man who has owned an Apple Watch for two years detected he had a potentially fatal heart condition — and ultimately saved his life.

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Fox News' James Rogers and Madeline Farber contributed to this story.