Apple today announced that the ResearchKit it is now available to both developers and researchers.
Right after the ResearchKit announcement, at the Apple special event that took place in March, we followed the arrival of the first five apps that make use of the new framework: Parkinson's disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and breast cancer. Over 60,000 iPhone users downloaded the apps and participated in the surveys in the first few weeks!
As of today, researchers and doctors around the world can use ResearchKit to develop their own applications. To top it off, developers can also contribute new research modules to the framework open code.
We are very happy and encouraged by the response from the medical community, researchers and participants who contributed to ResearchKit. Studies that historically attracted a few hundred participants are now attracting participants in the tens of thousands of people. Medical researchers from around the world are actively exploring how ResearchKit can help them study even more diseases, and we believe the impact on global understanding of health and well-being will be profound.
Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations for Apple.
ResearchKit basically turns iPhones into a powerful tool for medical research. When given permission by the participant, apps with ResearchKit can access data from advanced sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and GPS to obtain information on a participant's activity levels, motor, memory impairments and more.
O framework works seamlessly with HealthKit, a software platform that Apple introduced with iOS 8 to provide developers with health and fitness capabilities for apps, allowing them to communicate. With the participant's permission, apps with ResearchKit can use data from the Sade app (Health) such as weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and inhaler use for asthma, which are measured using third-party devices and apps.
Apple and IBM
On a related note, the IBM announced a partnership with Apple in which, through a service called Watson Health, use the data collected by HealthKit and ResearchKit to provide information to several other companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. The idea is that these companies can integrate this data into services that they offer to healthcare companies. THE Forbes it covered the subject well and, if you were interested, it is worth going there to read more about it.
As always, this can be something very positive, but also negative. It is up to the user to pay close attention to what he is offering information to Apple (HealthKit and ResearchKit), just as Ma also has to control this very well, making sure that such information is actually being used for the proper purposes.