How to help others and contribute to Apple health research

Contribute to Health Research on iPhone

Scientists and physicians can’t learn about health conditions if they don’t know about them. Cures for diseases can take years and years, if there even is a cure to be found. So where do those working on these things get information? How can they experiment, develop medications, or search for causes without data?

If you’ve never participated in a health study before, but are thinking it might be time, Apple makes it easy for you. For women’s health, hearing health, and heart health, the Apple Research app is at your fingertips. You decide which study to take part in and what data you want to share. So if you’re ready to help further research in these areas, here’s how to contribute to health research.

Editor’s desk: MacBook Pro devolution, Apple Watch and Research, Vaping nannying

16-inch MacBook Pro

This week's was dominated by a few headlines that caught my attention. The first, of course, was Apple's long-awaited introduction of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. The next came when Apple announced the release of its Research app and announced three studies designed to work with it, all on the same day as Stanford researchers offered up the full results of their 2017 Apple Watch heart study. The final thing was Apple's controversial decision to nix the availability of vaping apps on the App Store - which isn't sitting right with medical marijuana advocates, especially. Let's dive right in.

Apple releases new Research app and announces three studies

Apple Heart Research Study

Apple on Thursday announced the release of a new Research app for users of the iPhone and Apple Watch. The app enables users to participate in medical research studies similar to the Stanford Apple Watch Heart Study. Apple also announced three studies that will use data from the Research app.

Researcher publishes kernel exploit for 64-bit devices on iOS 10.3.1 and below

You may recall hearing of the slew of kernel bugs that were patched in iOS 10.3.2, all of which were reported by Adam Donenfeld, an iOS and Android security researcher. At the time, he stated that an exploit using the bugs was already written and would be released at the HITBGSEC conference in the summer.

Well, summer is here, and with it both the conference and the promised exploit.

Is Apple secretly researching automotive battery technology?

Tesla is building its massive Gigafactory in order to reduce the production cost for their electric vehicle battery by thirty percent and now Apple is rumored to be secretly working on automotive battery research and development though no specific details were provided.

According to a report Thursday by Shanghai-based news outlet Yicai Global, Apple partnered with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) on the project.

The publication speculates that the move could indicate that Apple’s car project involves not only autonomous driving software but also hardware. The two companies are working together on “a scheme”, based on a confidentiality agreement, in the field of batteries.

“If Apple is working with CATL on a battery, the possibility that Apple will continue to make cars cannot be ruled out as one of the core components of self-driving electric cars is the battery,” CCID Consulting’s New Energy Director Wu Hui told the outlet.

Another, less likely explanation could be that Apple may be planning to sell batteries of its own to makers of electric vehicles, or directly to consumers to power their homes. Because no specific details were provided, we can even speculate that these batteries could be used in Apple's data center, stores and other corporate facilities.

Here's drone flyover of Tesla's Gigafactory site, courtesy of Duncan Sinfield.

Founded in 2011, CATL is a spinoff of Amperex Technology Limited.

In 2012, a report claimed that Apple dropped Samsung and switched to Amperex for iPad and MacBook batteries. However, Amperex is nowhere to be found on the February 2017 list of Apple suppliers, and neither is its parent company.

Amperex produced a replacement battery for Samsung's ill-fated Note 7, but it too was plagued by a manufacturing issue that could cause it to catch fire due to the welding defect.

Rendering: Tesla's Gigafactory 1 outside Sparks, Nevada.