What Motivates Participation in the Apple Heart & Movement Study

As researchers, we conduct studies like the Apple Heart and Movement Study to advance our understanding of health and wellness using real-world data.  This research would not be possible without the generous contributions of data and time from our participants. So, we set out to learn more about what motivates participation in this Study. In May of 2022, the Study added a new question to the annual health behaviors survey asking, “What motivates you to participate in this study?” So far, here’s what we learned is important to our participants:

Figure 1: Distribution of participant answers (multi-select) in response to the new Health Behaviors survey question added in May 2022

As of November 1st, 2022, 19,222 participants have answered this question. Supporting scientific research and helping to improve health technology were top choices, across all ages, genders, and racial and ethnic groups. As participants could select multiple answers, the cross section between these top two choices was very high as well – 9,092 participants selected both as motivations!

Figure 2: Venn diagram showing the overlap between participants who answered wanting to support scientific research and wanting to help improve health technology

Support Scientific Research

The most commonly reported motivation (77% of respondents) was to support scientific research – which the study team really appreciates. Calum MacRae, the Study’s Principal Investigator shares,

Dr. Calum MacRae, Study Principal Investigator, Brigham & Women's Hospital

“The more participants we have sharing data, the quicker we can get to answers, and we already know that in several areas of human physiology we have more information than has ever been collected before. Keep it going and tell your friends!”

With a large-scale study such as this Study, the opportunity to include people from across the US with all different types of backgrounds is one of its biggest strengths. Because some people are at higher disease risk or may have more severe cases of certain conditions, we need to help make sure they’re represented when performing our analyses.


Improving Health Technology

The next most popular answer was helping to improve health technology (60% of respondents). With that, here are a few insights from one of Apple’s software engineering senior managers, Adeeti Ullal, on the importance of real-world data as technology and algorithms evolve in the tech space:

Adeeti Ullal, Senior Manager, Software Health Technologies, Apple

“Thanks to each and every participant in the Apple Heart and Movement Study. Their contributions have supported new features like Walking Steadiness, which provides insight into risk of falling, Cardio Fitness, which is a key component of long-term health, and Fall detection during workouts.  It is a true privilege to be able to keep creating features that can help guide individuals on their health journey.”

These ongoing contributions from large numbers of participants provide a detailed view into a full range of health journeys. This allows our research to address a broader range of features and empower individuals to make more informed personal choices.


Thanking Our Participants and Those Interested in Learning about Research

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our participants. We are grateful for your assistance in advancing our understanding of health, wellness, and how wearables fit into your daily lives.


For those already enrolled in the Apple Heart and Movement Study, if you haven’t had a chance to answer this question yet, it will appear in your next annual health behaviors survey. And a general reminder for all participants to keep the Research app up to date to ensure any changes to surveys or Study news appear within the app. If you are not yet enrolled in the Study, please consider joining to help us represent people like you as we explore the relationship of heart health and movement along with continuing to improve the technology you may already be using!

Get the app. Join the Study.

Recent Study Updates

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