When Apple introduced the ResearchKitless than two years ago, its intention was that the SDK would bring improvements to the study of diseases and medical problems and, with that, it would be possible to research more palliative properties or cures for these diseases. We already had some successful examples of the initiative, and now we see one more: doctors will present an extensive study on epilepsy that could only be carried out on account of ResearckKit and an Apple Watch application created from it.
At the 69th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which is taking place in Boston (in the United States), a group of doctors will present their findings about a study of 598 epilepsy patients who have been monitored over the past few months by the Apple app Watch EpiWatch, created by the health company Johns Hopkins from ResearchKit.
The study mainly covers the reasons that make patients have seizures, the so-called triggers. The people who participated in the test were instructed, whenever they felt a convulsion coming, to open the app so that it could record their heartbeat and movements for ten minutes. At the end of the research period, more than 1,500 seizures were recorded and the information combined with a brief survey after the seizure in which the patient reported some characteristics of the event enabled neurologists to gather interesting conclusions.
For example, stress was by far the most common trigger for events: approximately 37% of seizures were caused by this factor, while lack of sleep was the main cause in 18% of patients; menstruation by 12%; and excessive effort in another 11%. The research also managed to separate the cases into different groups, such as patients with full-time jobs / unemployed people and people with physical disabilities, for example, further increasing their accuracy.
According to one of the study's authors, neurologist Gregory Krauss, "the data collected will help researchers better understand epilepsy and help patients with the disease maintain a history of their seizures." The professional adds that the main objective of the study is to make wearable devices help patients to live with epilepsy and allow them to prepare better in the prospect of a seizure.
And here, gentlemen, we have one of the most noble examples of applying technology: helping really people to live better.