CHARLOTTE -- 1,000 people in North Carolina are getting free Apple Watches in exchange for providing valuable data for a University of North Carolina study on eating disorders.
“The two disorders that we’re studying are Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder, and both of them are marked by binge eating,” said Dr. Cynthia Bulik, who is running the study.
One of those participants is Katie Regittko, who said she has struggled with Bulimia and Anorexia for years. She used the watch, and the app, Recovery Record, to track her eating habits and mood, while the watch tracked her heart rate and physical activity in real time.
The hope, according to Bulik, is to use the app to predict the future.
“We want to figure out a way to predict when a binge episode is eminent and figure out a way to intervene before it happens,“ she said.
“Noticing biological signs of a binge before it happens could be really useful,” Regittko said.
It’s the team’s hope to figure out what genes and bacteria contribute to eating disorders.
“There's a generosity in people who have suffered from eating disorders and a desire to really keep other people from having to go through what they went through,” Bulik said.