Stanford University researchers using Apple Watch and to study pain flareups in children

Stanford University Apple Watch CPRS Study

A team of Stanford University researchers has launched a new clinical study in collaboration with to evaluate how wearable data collected from the Apple Watch can help identify physiologic, dietary, and environment triggers of severe pain exacerbations in children with complex regional pain syndrome.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a disorder characterized by pain, sensory and motor disturbances and represents a significant medical entity. This new Stanford study is aimed at Children and adolescents with CRPS diagnosed in a pediatric pain management clinic. Age eligibility for the study is 8 – 17 years.

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Apple Watch Series 8 will primarily be used for data collection. Collected data from Apple Watch include heart rate, HRV, Daily Steps and more. 

Participants in the study will wear an Apple Watch for 6 months, transmitting physiologic and movement data to the investigators.

The participants will photograph their meals for AI analysis of content, and log their pain scores and episodes of pain flares using the Medeloop app on their smartphone. is an end-to-end, AI-driven platform for conducting early stage clinical trials and research. The platform can connect to over 220 wearable devices (e.g., Apple Watch, Fitbit, CGMs) and also allows participants to scan and log food intake using sophisticated computer vision algorithms. 

Independently, the investigators will collect weather and environmental data in the subject’s location. 

These data will be analyzed by AI to identify chronologic triggers of pain flares. The main objective here is to use AI on the collected data to check if the pain flareups can be predicted in advance.

This is the second study from Stanford University within the last year where the Apple Watch is being used to study medical-related issues in children and adolescents.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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