News Reviews

Apple Introduced ResearchKit

One of the most important areas iPhone is having an impact on is personal health. Over 900 incredible apps created with HealthKit are helping people track and manage their health. For all the amazing breakthroughs medical researchers have made, they still face big challenges. Finding volunteers for medical studies has always been tough. And low participation can make understanding a disease more difficult. Also, data often travels only one way — from participant to researcher. That’s a missed opportunity for patients to learn more about their own health. Sometimes researchers see patients only once a quarter, making it difficult to get a complete picture of their health. Another challenge is subjective data, like when patients rate their pain on a scale from 1 to 10.

As Hundreds of millions of people already have iPhone in their pockets. The technology of iPhone makes it an extraordinary medical research tool. Apple today Introduced an open source project named ResearchKit, a software framework designed to benefit medical research. With ResearchKit, iPhone and HealthKit become amazing research tools. ResearchKit and HealthKit work hand in hand. Now researchers can easily create apps that will change the way they work. Over the past year, talented researchers have used ResearchKit to build apps aimed at serious diseases.  Research is the key to understanding disease. And research is what gets to a cure. ResearchKit puts people at the center of research. And it gives them the insights and tools to live healthier lives.

Stephen Friend, MD, PhD, Apple said that

ResearchKit is a framework that enables medical researchers to more easily design the apps they’re going to use for clinical studies.

The University of Rochester and Sage Bionetworks created mPower, an app using ResearchKit to conduct Parkinson’s disease research. Signing up for studies and providing consent is seamless with the mPower app. Now it’s simple for Parkinson’s patients to take tests and perform tasks from researchers. Parkinson’s patients can record their symptoms with iPhone just by saying “ahhhh.” The first apps made with ResearchKit target Parkinson’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and breast cancer.

Mike O’Reilly, MD, Apple expresses his feeling in this way:

To think that this device that you use to check your mail can be used to battle disease is simply amazing.

ResearchKit will be available next month. And it’s important for everyone to have access so it will be open source. The first five apps built with ResearchKit are available on the App Store today.