Apple announced a new series of apps called ResearchKit at the Spring Forward eventthis morning. Through ResearchKit medical research institutions across the world will have the ability to create and distribute research studiesfor users of iPhones aroundthe world.
Five ResearchKit apps are available starting today for iPhone users. These ResearchKit apps are for tracking people with Parkinson’s andcardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, as well asbreast cancer survivors.
The mPower app is for Parkinsons research volunteers. It turns the iPhoneinto a diagnostic tool as well as an information gathering device. Atapping tool evaluateshand tremors. Saying “Aaaah” into the iPhone microphone assesses the user’s stage of development of Parkinsons. There is a Gait and Balance test that uses the built inaccelerometer. The patienttakes 20 steps with the iPhone in theirpocket and the data is gathered and transmitted.
The ResearchKit app pulls data gathered in HealthKit apps and other wearable devices. Users will be able to see the results of all data gathered if they choose to use these apps and volunteer to participate in any of these studies.
The diabetes app tracks user behavior and exercise as well as their glucose levels. The Asthma app trackspatient behaviors as well asallowing researchers to synchronizea map ofGPScoordinatesthat tracks pathogens thought to be triggers for asthma patients.
The breast cancer app will track survivors and follow their progress to track problems and other survivor statistics.
All ResearchKit apps gather private medical information and data. According to Tim Cookthe user decides what data to share with whom and when. Apple does not see that data.
More research apps will be delivered over time. One of the biggest announcements is that ResearchKit and all the apps associated with it are open source. More announcements about availability are expected over time.