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iPhones could one day help detect depression and autism in children

The company is working with a few partners to help develop the new features.

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Image: Unsplash

Apple is currently working on some pretty major health upgrades for the iPhone. The company is working on features that will help detect cognitive decline in users, and it also hopes to one day be able to help detect autism in children.

In an investigative report from The Wall Street Journal, the outlet found that Apple is currently working on several ways to improve the health and wellness features found on the iPhone. Firstly, it’s developing tools that will detect changes in activity that could indicate conditions like depression:

“Apple Inc. is working on technology to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline, aiming for tools that could expand the scope of its burgeoning health portfolio,” says The Wall Street Journal.

The company is also targeting childhood autism as a condition that it wants to be able to identify. The company has a research-related partnership with Duke University to help with the project.

Together, this partnership “aims to create an algorithm to help detect childhood autism.” Apple plans on utilizing the iPhone’s camera to help determine things like focus and swaying in young children. Along with many other measures, these indicators could potentially help identify autism in children pretty early.

As of now, these features are still in the very early stages of testing and there’s no way of knowing when, or even if, they could make their way to users.

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