Apple continues to expand its health efforts with another Apple Watch and iPhone study. CNBC reports that Apple has teamed up with Eli Lilly to study whether the Apple Watch and iPhone can be effectively used to detect early signs of dementia.
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Research published this week shows that Apple and Eli Lilly have been working with health startup Evidation "to find ways to more quickly and accurately detect cognitive failure like Alzheimer's disease using popular consumer devices." Employees are listed in the research, as are five Eli Lilly employees and five Evidation employees.
CNBC has the details of the study, which includes participants getting an iPhone, Apple Watch and Beddit sleep traces. Apple bought Beddit two years ago:
The early-stage study took place over 12 weeks, and included both an 82-person healthy control group and 31 individuals with varying phases of cognitive decline and dementia. Those in attendance were asked to avoid taking medications that could affect outcomes, and each received three Apple things: an iPhone, Apple Watch and Beddit sleep tracker.
During the early study, researchers found that “people with symptoms of cognitive decline wrote slower, wrote less regularly, and sent fewer text messages than healthy participants. "These people are also more dependent on support apps," the research shows.
However, maintaining this type of research is a difficult balance. The study drew no conclusions, with researchers saying that more analysis is needed. Furthermore, researchers hesitate to share the results with patients because "there's not much people can do to curb the decline."
When the research was set aside, this is another example of Apple's growing efforts in the health industry. This study is the first to link Apple to Eli Lilly, and it's certainly possible that more research is underway as we speak.
Apple Watch has already received credit for helping countless users discover things like atrial fibrillation. The fall detection feature has also helped users in a variety of scenarios. Apple also partnered with Stanford Medicine on the Apple Heart Study, which was called the "largest study ever of its kind."