What possibilities does ResearchKit creates in medical research

ResearchKit allows researchers and developers to create apps for medical research with visual consent flows, real-time dynamic active tasks, and surveys using a variety of customized modules that one can build upon and share with the community.  Since ResearchKit works seamlessly with HealthKit, researchers can access even more relevant data for their studies e.g. daily step counts, calorie use, and heart rate.

The framework has the following three modules

  • Consent of the participant
  • Survey which includes demographics, base lines, qualification data
  • Actual physical task which the participant has to perform to go through the research process.

ResearchKit’s impact on health industry

Researchkit aims to address significant challenges faced by medical research. Up till now, over 60,000 have signed up to use the apps associated with ResearchKit. These apps, from major universities and medical institutions, target different diseases, and users can use them to input their health data and to take tests that offer data about their health. All of these tests and surveys can be taken straight from a user's iPhone.

Apple has shown a growing interest in the health sector over the past year or so. The company also recently unveiled HealthKit, which enables users to track their health and fitness data, setting goals for themselves and showing progress of their health. Apple claims that ResearchKit has  potential to change medicine by enabling doctors to catch diseases early on but the practical application of this SDK and credibility to bring revolutionary change in the medical field is yet to be experienced.

Top-in-line apps based on ResearchKit

Some of the following ResearchKit apps have had good market reception

  • MyHeart Counts by Stanford Medicine measures heart activity to help researchers accurately evaluate how a participant’s activity and lifestyle relate to cardiovascular health. You can download this app here

  • Apple has also showcased the Parkinson mPower app by Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester. It helps people living with Parkinson’s track their symptoms by recording activities through things like a memory game, finger tapping, speaking, and walking. The data collected will help fuel Parkinson’s research at a scale never before possible. You can download the app here

  • GlucoSuccess app by Massachusetts General Hospital attempts to understand how various aspects of a person’s life - such as their diet, physical activity, and medications affect blood glucose levels. You can download the app here

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