Apple shares early results from its Hearing Study

World Hearing Day is March 3, and Apple is taking the opportunity to promote hearing health.

Credit: Apple

Apple has taken an increasing interest in health and fitness over the last few years. It's a big focus for Apple Watch, many of its software features across devices, and the company even has its own fitness streaming service. As March 3rd is World Hearing Day, Apple is sharing some preliminary results of its ongoing Hearing Study.

Health research has become so important to Apple that it has published its own Research app, where Apple can partner with outside institutions to conduct health studies. The Hearing Study is one such ongoing study, conducted by Apple together with the University of Michigan School of Public Health, with data shared to the WHO's Make Listening Safe initiative.

The Hearing Study has not concluded, but Apple is sharing some of what it has learned so far. There are four key insights gleaned from the data Apple collected using the Noise app:

  1. 25 percent of participants experience a daily average environmental sound exposure (such as traffic, machinery, public transport, etc.) that is higher than the WHO recommended limit. And 50 percent either now work or previously worked in a loud environment.
  2. One in 10 participants has average weekly headphone exposure that is higher than the WHO's recommended limit. 
  3. Similarly, about 10 percent of participants have been diagnosed with hearing loss by a professional. The study's tests suggest that nearly 20 percent have hearing loss according to the WHO's standards, and 10 percent have loss consistent with noise exposure.
  4. About half the participants have not had their hearing diagnosed by a professional in the last 10 years, even though 25 percent of participants report hearing ringing in their ears a few times a week or more.

The Apple Hearing Study is still ongoing. If you wish to participate, install the Research app; users in the United States should find it among the available research projects.

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Jason Cross

Jason Cross
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