America’s largest company is teaming up with one of the country’s largest private health insurers. Anthem (NYSE: ANTM) Wednesday announced a study designed in collaboration with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) which will examine how the iPhone and Apple Watch can help asthma patients manage their condition more effectively.
Anthem wants to reduce the time its members spend in emergency care departments, and asthma is a condition that needs better solutions. About 25 million Americans currently live with a diagnosis of asthma, a condition that leads to nearly 1.8 million emergency medical visits per year.
Anthem and Apple worked together on this study to look for evidence of changes in health outcomes associated with the use of new digital self-management tools. Investigators will also be looking for signs that the iPhone or Apple Watch may predict an upcoming asthma attack.
Some trial participants will be randomized into groups with access to a digital asthma tool designed for the study. The specialized tool includes symptom and trigger tracking, as well as personalized boosts that take heart rate cues and blood oxygen readings.
In January, the world’s leading manufacturer of blood oximetry technology, Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI), filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of patent infringement. Masimo claims the company met with Apple to discuss a potential collaboration, and then immediately attracted key employees. Apple is also accused of using the company’s technology to fix performance issues with the Series 4 and Series 5 versions of the Apple Watch.
Anthem’s new asthma study is scheduled to begin in the fall. Volunteers will receive an Apple Watch and a Beddit sleep monitor. The study also aims to give participants full control over their data.