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IBM's iOS sleep-tracking app is powered by Watson

"SleepHealth" is Watson's first Apple ResearchKit app for its Health Cloud.

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Are your poor sleeping habits messing up your day-to-day life? If you own an Apple Watch or iPhone, you can find out with the SleepHealth app from IBM Watson. The app is the first for IBM's Health Cloud, a program it launched last year with Apple and Johnson & Johnson. The idea of the program is to collect data for users, researchers and doctors using Apple's open-source ResearchKit and the sensors in iOS devices. SleepHealth, which IBM is doing with the American Sleep Apnea Association, is aimed at studying how sleep quality affects productivity, alertness, medical issues and overall health.

IBM uses motion and heart rate sensors on the Watch and iPhone to detect when you fall asleep and track your changing positions during slumber. The app has features like a "personal sleep concierge" and nap tracker, designed specifically for the Apple Watch to help users develop better sleeping habits. When iOS 9.3 comes along, SleepHealth will use Apple's new Night Shift feature to reduce light exposure before sleep, the first ResearchKit app to do so. To let non-profit health researchers access the data for the new app and others coming later, IBM is also introducing Watson Health for ResearchKit on the Health Cloud.

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Beyond getting personal health suggestions, app users will be able to participate by suggesting research topics, survey questions, and more. Data will be stored and crunched on Watson's Health Cloud, helping researchers see if there are common patterns and problems among participants. After collecting data for several years, the research team will develop health interventions for sleep-related problems. For instance, it may create a sleep routine for athletes training for an event, help reduce workplace fatigue and even do early detection of diseases like Alzheimer's and mental health disorders. If you're interested in participating -- and why not, it's free -- you can grab the SleepHealth app here.

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