Indianapolis-based Anthem and Apple are planning on examining how the use of everyday devices like the Apple Watch and iPhone can help individuals with asthma better self-manage their condition in search of improved clinical outcomes, according to a news release.
The University of California, Irvine is conducting the virtual study, which Anthem designed in collaboration with Apple. CareEvolution is the study technology partner responsible for building the app and enabling the collection of data from the study.
Participants from Anthem-affiliated health plans who are clinically diagnosed with asthma will be enrolled in the two-year, randomized, controlled study and will receive a Beddit sleep monitor and an Apple Watch. The active group in the study will have access to the digital asthma tool with daily symptom and trigger tracking with signals including activity, heart rate and blood oxygen, among other metrics.
The primary goal of the study is investigating clinical changes in outcomes associated with the use of the digital offerings and to see if the data collected from those devices can help predict asthma exacerbation or serve as potential biomarkers of asthma control.
Anthem and Apple said the study offers complete control over data to the participants to ensure privacy, as the data will be stored on the user’s device and shared through a direct, encrypted connection with CareEvolution so that it can be collected for the study.
“As part of our mission of improving people’s lives, we are making it easier for consumers to proactively manage their health through our digital-first approach to delivering healthcare solutions and services,” Anthem chief digital officer Rajeev Ronanki said in the release. “Millions of Americans are struggling with their asthma condition each day and we’re thrilled to collaborate with UCI, Apple and CareEvolution on studying new solutions.”
“The digital asthma study brings together Apple Watch’s innovative technology with an engaging app-based self-management experience to investigate how consumers can better manage and control a prevalent condition,” Apple head of health strategic initiatives Myoung Cha said. “We hope this study can help the medical community produce new insights about asthma control and can identify effective digital tools that can help empower people around the world to better manage their condition.”