Apple has announced that ResearchKit is now widely available for medical researchers and developers to use in their apps.
ResearchKit was first introduced at Apple’s “Spring Forward” event in March with the aim of fixing problems with medical research such as small sample sizes and inaccurately-reported data. Users can sign up to participate in studies right on their iPhones, sending relevant data to medical research institutions as they wish.
An open source framework, ResearchKit lets developers build new modules on top of the existing ones to expand its capabilities. The modules that come with the framework address three common elements of studies, according to Apple:
The open source framework allows any medical researcher to take advantage of the initial modules in ResearchKit to study health and wellness and better understand disease. Developers can also build new modules based on the open source code and contribute them to ResearchKit. The initial customizable modules address the most common elements found in research studies—participant consent, surveys and active tasks.
Five apps built with ResearchKit have already been released. They include tests for Parkinson’s Disease and a cardiovascular health study. In addition to researchers, users have also shown a great deal of interest in ResearchKit, with Stanford reporting that their MyHeart Counts study saw over 10,000 signups in the first week of availability.
You can learn more from ResearchKit.org.