The iPhone giant is donating 1,000 of its Apple Watches to a study that is aiming to find out whether binge eating is due to biological or behavioral causes, reports CNBC. Apple itself won’t be conducting the study or analyzing the data from it, but the researchers think the company’s tech could be vital in advancing understanding of binge eating and other disorders.
Specifically, participants in the study will wear the Apple Watch to monitor their heart rates over an entire month. They will also use a mobile app to record their thoughts and emotions about their binge eating periods. The researchers are looking to see if there are biological changes occurring in the body before a binge eating episode. Evidence of such biological changes could cause heart rate spikes before each episode–something the Apple Watch can detect.
If so, the data could be used to predict binge eating episodes before they happen. “We’re interested to find out what happens in the time period leading up to the binge and the purge,” said Jenna Tregarthen, CEO of Recovery Record, the mobile app being used in the study. “And we hope we can anticipate and ultimately change the course of that episode.”