IBM announced on Monday that it will be expanding its partnership with Apple in an effort to help transform medical research. Utilizing its Watson artificial intelligence tech, it’s created a new Health Cloud platform that can support health data gathered by iOS apps using Apple’s ResearchKit and HealthKit frameworks.
Apple first introduced HealthKit in the summer of last year, as a platform for developers to create apps that integrate with iOS 8’s new Health application. This year, it decided to build on that premise with ResearchKit, which allows medical researchers to collect app data from users with diseases such as diabetes or cancer.
IBM will push things even further with Health Cloud, which will de-identify and store health data in a secure, scalable cloud system that enables researchers to access and share data in an open ecosystem environment. Apps that use HealthKit and ResearchKit will be able to easily store, aggregate and model data, enriching research.
“With Apple’s ResearchKit, researchers can easily create apps that take advantage of the power of mobile devices to give them rich data from a diverse global population,” said Apple’s Jeff Williams, “Now IBM’s secure cloud and analytics capabilities provide additional tools to help accelerate discoveries across a wide variety of health issues..”
Apple and IBM announced last year that they wanted to “transform enterprise mobility” by creating a whole new class of business apps for the iPhone and iPad. IBM said today that it also plans to build a suite of enterprise wellness apps using HealthKit, which will enable companies to help their employees better manage their health.