Stanford launches five new digital health projects using Apple Watches

wearable smartwatch
Stanford is providing 1,000 Apple Watches to researchers integrating the technology into clinical care.

Backed by funding from the university, Stanford researchers are looking at ways the Apple Watch can improve health outcomes for patients recovering from a stroke and managing a range of behavioral health issues.

The research is funded through Center for Digital Health, launched at the beginning of the year by the Stanford’s School of Medicine as a way to test digital health developed by Silicon Valley companies. On Thursday, the Center awarded seed funding for five research projects along with 1,000 Apple Watches.

“Our goal, simply stated, is to enable the Stanford community to do cool stuff to improve health care with technology,” Mintu Turakhia, M.D., associate professor of cardiovascular medicine and senior director of research and innovation at the Center for Digital Health said in an announcement.

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Several of the projects focus on behavioral health diseases. One looks to leverage the smart watch to control hyperactivity and ADHD in children. Another will use artificial intelligence to improve “adherence behaviors” in psychiatric patients. A third study will use a virtual therapist to improve arm recovery in stroke patients.

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Stanford officials have said the university should be “leading the way” in digital health, especially given its proximity to Silicon Valley. Recently, the medical center has partnered with Google Genomics using cloud-based solutions to advance precision medicine. Stanford’s School of Medicine has also launched a new department focusing specifically on biomedical data to develop a more predictive approach to disease management.