The answer: "Watch this space!" The Apple and Biogen partnership's observational virtual study for iPhone and Apple Watch users is currently underway!
The study, called “Intuition", sees Apple and the US pharmaceutical giant, Biogen, partner to identify digital biomarkers which will help monitor cognitive performance over time. Any declines in performance could indicate early forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, inviting the participation of US residents only, commenced in late 2021. It is of two years in duration, so by 2025 we should receive an answer to the question whether our iPhone can help detect cognitive decline, and possibly dementia.
It is an exciting development in brain health, as we know that early detection can lead to early diagnosis and early treatment, with early treatment giving better long-term outcomes.
What is remarkable is the format of the study. Any US resident with an iPhone 8 and above can participate. Imagine the amount of data collected by this virtual study!
Having Biogen behind it is another plus, given its reputation as a pioneer in neuroscience and its advanced research into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
How does it work?
The study invites 21 to 86 year-olds across the US to download the Intuition App from the Apple App Store on their iPhone (iPhone 8 and above) and complete the study participation and consent forms.
On completing all the paperwork, the participant is provided a new Apple Watch SE.
For the following 24 months, the participant’s data is collected through:
Their everyday use of their iPhone and Apple Watch.
Their completion of a health and habits survey sent every three months through the App.
Their completion of a series of short tests (validated cognitive test batteries) also sent via the App.
The time commitment is around one hour per month.
On completing each task, the participant earns points. If they earn enough points (i.e. complete the study), they can keep the Apple Watch. Simple!
The aim is to identify digital biomarkers to help measure changes in thinking and memory in adults, as well as identify longer-term changes in brain health.
Some changes in brain health occur normally as we age, while others may be early indicators of certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The study is still looking for participants in the 50 to 86 year age group, though you need to be a US resident. Those involved are not given an assessment of their cognitive health after the two years. It is simply for data gathering purposes only.
What a shame they couldn’t obtain a sample group from Australia as we are sure many people would put their hand up to be in this trial!
We currently have Apps helping us monitor our cardiovascular health.
Watch this space for one monitoring our brain health!
Activity Poster for Visiting a Loved One Living with Dementia
If you are visiting someone living with dementia, download our Dementia Activity Poster for great ideas of activities you can share with your loved one.
Dementia Activity Poster
Activities for Living in the Moment & Enjoying the Present
Visits to a loved one living with dementia can be an amazing and rewarding experience for both of you. But we know it's not always easy knowing what activities to enjoy with them that will be rewarding, fun and comfortable.
We put together a list of enjoyable activities for your visits.
It's free and easy to download; we invite you to get your copy.
Submit the form below and we'll send it directly to your email address.
If you are seeking care for a loved one with dementia, please feel free to call me, Danielle Robertson, for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.
 Intuition: Brain Health Facts
 Biogen: Biogen to Launch Pioneering Study to Develop Digital Biomarkers of Cognitive Health Using Apple Watch & iPhone
 US Food & Drug Administration: FDA's Decision to Approve New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease
 Not available in Australia as study participants must be resident in the US.