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.

“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.

“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.


What is the Michigan Predictive Activity and Clinical Trajectories (MIPACT) Study?

The interaction between disease, daily quality of life, and healthcare services are poorly understood in today’s research. The University of Michigan is conducting a study with the aim of improving the existing body of knowledge by integrating information such as:

  • Electronic health records
  • Participant survey data
  • Genetic information
  • Blood pressure measurements
  • Apple Watch activity and clinical data

The goal of the study is to understand the relationship between biosensors, health information, and health outcomes. In order to achieve this, we will ask participants to complete surveys while using an Apple Watch and a blood pressure monitor, so we can better understand their overall health and level of activity.

This study will not provide any treatment. It will collect information for research purposes. The study is sponsored, in part, by Apple Inc., who is providing partial financial support and materials for the study. The University of Michigan and Apple are collaborating to conduct this study.

Participants in the study will help us understand the role of wearable mobile devices in predicting the onset of common health conditions and understanding the health trajectories of participants with these conditions.

Significance of MIPACT

Comprehensive data from electronic health records (EHR), collected over a long period of time (longitudinal data) can complement the physiological and lifestyle data derived from the Apple Watch. In addition, genomic testing can show how inherited traits may contribute to the development of disease. Finally, data recorded by the Apple Watch, such as step count, heart rate, and other activity data, provide valuable information that is often missing from research and quality improvement efforts by healthcare providers.

The goals of the MIPACT Study are to:

  1. Facilitate scientific discoveries by providing researchers with a comprehensive database of participant information.
  2. Advance the goals of Precision Health at the University of Michigan to develop more effective treatments to improve patient health and wellness.
  3. Lay the groundwork for unique, cross-disciplinary partnerships that help advance health research.

Those who choose to participate in the study will be making a valuable research contribution toward potentially improving health outcomes for millions of Americans.

Our participants

Our participant population will be diverse and broad. We are currently enrolling Michigan Medicine patients who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must be 18 years or older and resides in the United States
  • Must be a patient within the Michigan Medicine clinical system
  • Must have an iPhone 6 or later with latest version of iOS
  • Must understand English
  • Must have internet access throughout the study period
  • Must be able to use a consumer-friendly home blood pressure cuff
  • Additional demographic and clinical requirements

The study team will screen for additional criteria during the enrollment process.

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