Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine plan to use the Apple Watch to study the genetic factors that may be associated with binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.
The Binge Eating Genetics INitiative (BEGIN) research study will select 1,000 people to receive a free Apple Watch, donated by the Cupertino tech giant, according to CNBC.
“Researchers will monitor their heart rate using the device’s sensor over the course of a month to see if there are spikes before binge eating episodes,” the report notes. “It’s likely that a binging and purging episode would cause some biological change that would show up in the Apple Watch data.”
The researchers are hoping to use this information to develop better treatments for these illnesses.
To be eligible to participate, you must be at least 18 years old, live in the US, own an iPhone 5 or newer, and have experience with binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa. If you’re interested in applying, head here.
Participants will use an iPhone app called Recovery Record to keep track of their mood, food intake, and goals for 30 days. They’ll also be required to complete mental health and health history questionnaires and provide saliva and bodily bacteria samples.
“We’re interested to find out what happens in the time period leading up to the binge and the purge,” Recovery Record CEO Jenna Tregarthen told CNBC. “And we hope we can anticipate and ultimately change the course of that episode.”
Apple’s latest Watch model, Series 4 , earned an “excellent” rating in PCMag’s review and our coveted Editors’ Choice award. We praised its large screen, good call quality, upcoming ECG capability, fall detection feature, but noted its $399 starting price is high, battery life remains unchanged from last year’s model, and there’s no built-in sleep tracking.
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