Transforming iPhone into Medical Research Tool through ResearchKit

By CIOReview | Thursday, March 12, 2015
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FREMONT, CA: Apple announces ResearchKit, an open source software framework to boost the capability of modern medical researchers to bring about medical breakthroughs for serious diseases such as Asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, and more. The technology company says that it has consulted leading medical institutions and foundations across the globe in bringing about this solution.

Through ResearchKit, medical researchers can have access to the user health data gleaned through the Apple devices. By analyzing the vast pool of data collated from populations across regions, more accurate predictions can be achieved paving for better healthcare initiatives.

The vision employed by Apple is to transform Apple mobile device into a research tool which senses, records, analyzes, and shares the vital health data with the user and the medical experts participating in the research. With technology innovations in the form of state of the art sensors such as accelerometer, barometer, and gyroscope, iPhone delivers ResearchKit apps with objective and accurate data in large quantities aiding for better research.

The ResearchKit works with HealthKit introduced with iOS 8. HealthKit has been used to develop more than 900 health and fitness apps which work together. Daily work out information such as the step counts, calorie use and heart rates that are gleaned by the apps under the HealthKit can be tapped by the ResearchKit for medical research which will use it as the key element in the healthcare research.

“Numbers are everything. The more people who contribute their data, the bigger the numbers, the truer the representation of a population, and the more powerful the results. A research platform that allows large amounts of data to be collected and shared — that can only be a positive thing for medical research,” said Eduardo Sanchez, American Heart Association.

The open source nature of the ResearchKit means that developers from around the globe can give significant inputs to the mobile device-based research platform and enable building of better healthcare apps for analytics and research paving for a healthier tomorrow.