British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced Monday that it has started a new rheumatoid arthritis study which uses Apple’s ResearchKit platform that lets medical researchers gather robust and meaningful data from iPhone users. The drug maker will be using ResearchKit in its new GSK PARADE iPhone app.
In addition to new iPhones and iPads, Apple on Monday also announced a new software framework called CareKit. The initiative is an extension to ResearchKit, which launched last year to give hospitals and University’s a way to conduct broad medical studies using iOS devices.
CareKit uses similar principles to help individuals keep track of care plans, as well as monitor their symptoms and medication. The goal is to provide insights that help people better understand their health, which may encourage them to take a more active role in their wellbeing.
ResearchKit, Apple’s platform for medical research based on the Health app and iOS devices, is now enabling new studies on autism, epilepsy and melanoma, the company said in a media release today.
Tapping into data gathered from participants using iPhone apps; medical data from the Health app such as weight, blood pressure and glucose levels; and other data measured by third-party devices and the iPhone’s accelerometer, microphone, gyroscope and GPS sensors—researchers can study autism, epilepsy and melanoma in greater detail than was possible before.
Apple is collaborating with US researchers to launch apps that would allow iPhone owners to get their DNA tested, according to a new report from MIT’s Technology Review. The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps researchers gather data. If true, Apple would join a growing battle for genetic information. Everyone from Google, to the government, to top universities are spending millions of dollars to amass large databases of DNA info in an effort to uncover clues that would help identify causes and possible cures for diseases.
Today, Apple’s made good on its promise to make ResearchKit available to developers and medical researchers. As announced in a media release Tuesday, medical researchers can tap into ResearchKit to write custom apps while developers are permitted to contribute new research modules to ResearchKit.
ResearchKit was designed as an open source software framework to help doctors and scientists mass-gather accurate data from participants using specialized iPhone apps. With today’s ResearchKit release, it’s now possible to create medical apps for Android in a true open-source fashion.
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.