Data analytics

Apple "research" app brings health data to the upscale masses

Iphone screenshot of the research app
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.

Google, Ascension analyzing data without patients' knowledge

Google's multi-color logo with lights shining underneath it.
Google and Ascension are calling it "health care transformation." Photo: Lyu Liang/VCG via Getty Images

Not-for-profit hospital system Ascension has allowed Google to access a wide array of patient data, including names and diagnoses, but did not notify patients or doctors about their secret data project until the Wall Street Journal reported the story today.

Why it matters: This exchange of sensitive medical information is technically legal under federal law that protects patient health information, as long as Google is contracted as a "business associate" with Ascension.

Go deeper: What your hospital knows about you