By Eugena Brooks
Despite all the negativity and trials that has transpired this year due to the Covid 19 pandemic, American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) is celebrating recognition received in a professional health journal article about its effort to help research and promote support to the sleep apnea community via its SleepHealth Mobile App Study (SHMAS). Conducting patient-centered research using smartphones is now rapidly becoming a popular approach to studying health and disease and yet it is only beginning to be meaningfully explored. When ASAA began this journey it developed the SleepHealth app, available on Apple iPhone app store. At the time only Apple was able to provide a platform for such a study thanks to its iWatch integration with the iPhone apps.
The SleepHealth Mobile App Study (SHMAS) was an observational study developed using Apple’s ResearchKit. The primary goal of SHMAS was to explore the relationship between sleep habits and daytime functioning, using a novel digital health approach. Secondary goals included investigation of participant characteristics, evaluation of data validity and examination of user retention patterns and data-sharing preferences. SHMAS was launched on the Apple App Store on March 2, 2016. Until SHMAS conclusion the app store landing page was viewed 86,507 times and the SleepHealth app was downloaded 27,502 times. From the beginning our goal has been to provide a rich dataset to researchers interested in studying sleep health, by making all SHMAS data available to them, in accordance with FAIR principles.
After a long year of unexpected pitfalls, pivots and hardships the recent publication of this article has been a welcome and inspirational event. For more in-depth information about the study and the results follow the link below. We hope you will find it interesting and informative.