Thus, today we are talking about a research on the iPhone and the ability to detect certain conditions such as depression, anxiety and cognitive decline. This study is carried out by the biotech firm Biogen, but also Apple and UCLA. It also has two different code names, « Pi » at the first and « Seabreeze » at Cupertino.
It is about discovering a a number of clues to aid in the diagnosis, in particular from physical activity and sleeping habits, but not only. But other data would have been used such as analysis of participants’ facial expressions, the way they speak, the pace and frequency of their walks, sleep patterns, and heart and respiratory rates. It was also question « measure typing speed, the frequency of their typos, and the content of what they type, among other data points, according to those familiar with the research and documents ».
The study will track data from 3,000 volunteers from this year onwards on the UCLA side, while Biogen will recruit approximately 20,000 people to participate over the next two years. For the purposes of the study, about half of these people will have risk factors for cognitive impairment.
Apple’s senior executives are obviously very optimistic even if the project is still in its early stages. Jeff Williams, COO, who oversees Apple’s health department, spoke enthusiastically to the firm’s employees, pointing out the benefits in the fight against depression, anxiety as well as other psychological disorders, the rates of which would be very increasing since the pandemic.