Apple stuffs more and more technology, features, and hardware into each successive generation of the iPhone. However, a replacement report has surfaced that claims Apple is functioning with UCLA and Biogen to integrate new health features to detect depression and cognitive decline. The program’s goal is to determine if the iPhone can gather data, including facial expressions and typing metrics, to spot any psychological state concerns within the device user.
The report cites people claiming to be conversant in Apple’s plans and leaked documents. It argues that Apple plans to use data gathered by sensors measuring mobility, sleep patterns, typing behavior, physical activity, and more. Additionally, Apple reportedly wants to develop algorithms ready to detect depression and cognitive decline reliably. Apple’s plan stems from a partnership with UCLA that involves studying stress, anxiety, and depression.
Apple is additionally working with Biogen on a study that specializes in mild cognitive impairment. The survey with UCLA is reportedly code-named “Seabreeze,” while the project with Biogen is code-named “Pi.” Biogen may be a drug company recently granted FDA approval for a replacement drug designed to treat mild cognitive impairment. The move to integrate new health features into the iPhone appears to expand the push to incorporate more health features into the Apple Watch.
Positioning its devices as beneficial for user health could help bring a replacement glut of users to Apple devices. Many aging people don’t use smartphones but might be brought into the Apple fold with health features only available on the iPhone. However, the sources for the report are transparent that Apple’s study participation on both of those topics might never cause new features. Apple’s involvement within the studies is reportedly at an early stage.