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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple is teaming up with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to launch a three-year study to understand how sleep, physical activity, heart rate, and daily routine can impact anxiety and depression (via CNBC).


Kicking off this week, the study was co-designed by researchers at UCLA and Apple, and it will utilize the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Beddit sleep tracker that Apple owns and sells. UCLA and Apple hope the study will "revolutionize detection and treatment of depression."

Connecting quantifiable data like heart rate, sleep, and physical activity to anxiety and depression symptoms has the potential to allow health care providers to note warning signs and prevent the onset of depressive episodes, track treatments, and find depression causes. From UCLA psychiatry professor Dr. Nelson Freimer, who is the study's principal investigator:
"This collaboration, which harnesses UCLA's deep research expertise and Apple's innovative technology, has the potential to transform behavioral health research and clinical care. Current approaches to treating depression rely almost entirely on the subjective recollections of depression sufferers. This is an important step for obtaining objective and precise measurements that guide both diagnosis and treatment."

"UCLA and Apple have designed this study so that all aspects of participation can be accomplished remotely. The pandemic has heightened anxiety and depression globally, and has increased awareness of the importance of behavioral health to overall wellbeing. At the same time, physical distancing requirements have limited in-person mental health assessment and treatment, leading to expanded use and acceptance of telehealth. These changes highlight the importance of incorporating technologies like those to be tested in this study into clinical research and eventually into practice."
The pilot phase of the study begins this week and will involve 150 participants recruited from UCLA Health patients. The main phases of the study will take place from 2021 through 2023 and will involve 3,000 participants drawn from UCLA Health patients and the UCLA student body, so this is not a study that can be undertaken using Apple's Health app.

Study participants will download a UCLA research app on their iPhones and will receive an Apple Watch and Beddit sleep monitor as part of the study.

Data from study participants will be kept safe with access limited to members of the UCLA research team. Data will be analyzed by Apple and UCLA after being coded and stripped of names and other contact information.

Article Link: Apple and UCLA Launch Depression and Anxiety Study
Last edited:


macrumors regular
May 20, 2012
Perfect fit, since If you've ever watched UCLA Football lately, it'll be easy to source some depression or anxiety.
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Feb 11, 2020
It’s a bummer these studies are always so California-centric. I guess Apple has the best connections there, but you’d think geographical diversity would be scientifically useful.
That’s a good point. Environmental factors such as population density, crime rate, community involvement, and many more can affect ones propensity toward depression.

I suspect Apple are doing this to ultimately augment there devices to warn of actions that may lead to or heighten depression. They should get it right.
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Reactions: ruka.snow


macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2015
Seems like a pretty good year to do it. 2020 is the worst.

Lets hope it ends on a high with a Vaccine and really awesome 3rd November.
Honestly, I think it would be a great time to throw in a study regarding loneliness and social isolation. These have the same health and mental impacts as depression and anxiety... and no year would be greater than this year to tack that onto this sort of study.


macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
I'm depressed there aren't any good deals on the current 11" iPad Pro, other than the student deal. Not to mention the long wait times :)
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Reactions: seanoo and Huck


macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2003
Atlanta, GA, USA
I wonder if a version of this might some day show up in the Apple Research app, especially once iOS 14 and watchOS 7 introduce sleep tracking capabilities that might provide some of what Beddit is providing the study above...


macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2012
Apple users are so happy because of Apple's awesome products that they are neither depressed nor anxious. As a result, this study will probably not be very useful.

I'm such a tech geek that for a while Apple events/new parts leaks were something I'd look forward to/kept me on this earth as a teen. :) September was it for me, haha.
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Reactions: fonzy91


macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
I would be a bit worried about applying to take part in such a study but I doubt anyone would care anyway.


macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
As usual, they are looking at the wrong things, yes over three years these could be important, but where are the studies that are tracking depression and anxiety as well as suicides, increased crime rates, child trafficking, etc. due to the lockdown policies in place in many parts of the country?

They would reveal these things are killing 10 times the number of people who are dying from COVID.
  • Disagree
Reactions: damphoose


macrumors G3
Jun 24, 2010
True to form to Apple, they don’t just include a feature but makes a good use of it.
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