U-M launches health study using Apple Watch

March 13, 2019
Written By:
Kara Gavin

Illustration of an Apple Watch.

ANN ARBOR—Consumers are increasingly turning to wearable devices to learn more about everything from their heart rate to sleep quality. Yet, the question remains: What can all of this data tell us about people’s overall health?

The University of Michigan has launched a study to discover if data collected on Apple Watch, combined with other health information, can provide insight into health, wellness and disease.

Marshall Runge

Marshall Runge

“This study is a unique opportunity to work with patients to gain insight into their daily and overall health status, providing a wealth of data that can be used for research that benefits everyone and advances health care,” said Marshall Runge, executive vice president for medical affairs and dean of the U-M Medical School.

The three-year study, called MIPACT (Michigan Predictive Activity and Clinical Trajectories), is already under way, with 1,000 participants enrolled. It aims to enroll thousands more patients of Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center, over the next year.

The resulting data will be made available to participants and researchers who are studying health information, daily activity, wearable signals and participant-reported quality of life with an eye toward an improved understanding of wellness and disease. Apple is collaborating with U-M to conduct this study and a subset of the data will be available to Apple researchers.

Sachin Kheterpal

Sachin Kheterpal

“Michigan Medicine and Apple are focused on participant data privacy and security, and we take our responsibility seriously. We’ve even implemented several new systems to maximize privacy and security,” said MIPACT study lead Sachin Kheterpal, associate professor of anesthesiology at the Medical School.

“With the breadth of scientific expertise at the University of Michigan, we are uniquely positioned to explore how to integrate knowledge gained across participant surveys, medical records, wearables, genomics and lab tests to better understand daily experiences and long-term health, while ensuring safe use of this information.”

MIPACT is built upon experience gained from the enrollment of 60,000 participants over the last six years of the Michigan Genomics Initiative, part of Precision Health at U-M, as well as the infrastructure of the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research.


More information:


Disclosure: Some of the researchers involved in this study have held stock in Apple, may continue to do so, and may purchase or sell stock during the study period. These researchers are not likely to personally benefit from the results of this research.