Apple will be partnered with UCLA for a study about depression for three years that will start this week. The study will be incorporating technology to detect and cure anxiety and depression, including Apple Watch.
There will be 150 patients from UCLA’s academic health center who will take part in the project’s pilot phase. The participants should probably be iPhone users as they have to download the research app to collect the data needed.
An Apple Watch and a Beddit sleep monitor will be provided, which will utilize by the participants until the study is complete. The technologies will help the researchers to collect the data about several factors such as sleep, heart rate, physical activity, and daily routine of the subjects. In that way, the symptoms of depression can be detected and assisted immediately.
The Apple Watch and phone will handle the data of the participants with regards to their heart rate, physical activities, and workout exercises. On the other hand, Beddit will monitor sleep time and breathing of the persons involved in the study.
The study will be headed by the director of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, Dr. Nelson Freimer. According to the Psychiatry professor, the collaboration between Apple and UCLA has the “potential to transform behavioral health research and clinical care.”
“Current approaches to treating depression rely almost entirely on the subjective recollections of depression sufferers. The study is an important step for obtaining objective and precise measurements that guide both diagnosis and treatment,” he added.
The security and privacy of the participants’ data were ensured by Dr. Freimer of UCLA and Apple, that it would be safe and secure. According to the UCLA blog, the data of the research will be stored in a safe environment.
In 2021, the main phase of the study will start with 3,000 participants. It will come from the UCLA student body and Health patients that will last up to 2023.
The study came up because of the outrageous effect of the COVID-19. It did not only infected the people with viruses but also contributed to the increase of the world’s cases of depression and anxiety.
It is a challenging time for the mental health departments since the access to treatment and assessment of mental health in person has become limited. Utilizing technologies to still aid the needs of the people during this time of pandemic could lead to a significant change in the future.