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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Harvard: Partners with NIH and Apple for Women’s Health Study

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Apple, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today a collaboration for the Apple Women’s Health Study, a large-scale longitudinal study led by a team of researchers at the Harvard Chan School that will leverage participants’ voluntary use of a smartphone research app to advance our understanding of menstrual and gynecological health.

By making use of information and study activities from personal devices, the first-of-its-kind study has the potential to become the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of women’s health. The study, focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions, will inform screening and risk assessment of conditions including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis, breast cancer, pregnancy complications, and menopausal transition.

“Women make up half of the world’s population, yet even today there has been limited investment in studying their unique health needs,” said Dr. Michelle A. Williams, a reproductive epidemiologist and dean of the faculty at the Harvard Chan School. “This study, unprecedented in scope, will greatly advance our understanding of the biological and social determinants of women’s health, and lead to better health outcomes.”

Dean Williams, Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development, will lead the study as a principal investigator, along with Harvard Chan School co-principal investigators Dr. Russ Hauser, Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology and chair of the Department of Environmental Health, and Dr. Brent Coull, professor of biostatistics and associate chair of the Department of Biostatistics.

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