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There are three longitudinal studies on the Apple Research app. Photo: Apple

Apple released on Thursday an app for iPhone and Apple Watch users to participate in three longitudinal health data studies.

The big picture: Apple is just one of several Silicon Valley companies investing in health tech and transforming the future use of health data. Clinical trials via phone could increase participation rates, compared to traditional in-person studies.

  • Apple addresses privacy concerns by promising not to sell user data and allowing users to pick what they want to share, among other options.
  • Apple is funding the research, while health agencies and educational institutions will study and track the data. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Brigham and Women's Hospital, American Heart Association and World Health Organization are conducting the research.

The voluntary studies:

  • Track heart beat to learn early warning signs of atrial fibrillation, heart disease or declining mobility.
  • Track menstrual cycles and how they relate to women's health conditions such as infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Collect headphone usage and environmental sound exposure data to track hearing impact over time.

Yes, but, per NYT: Data from iPhone and Apple Watch owners is an unrepresentative sample of society. "People who use iPhones have a median income of about $89,000 compared with $64,510 for Android users, according to recent data from Comscore."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
59 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.