ResearchKit


'ResearchKit' Articles

Apple: Steve Jobs' Healthcare Prompted Apple Watch Development

TIME published an article yesterday that offers an interesting take on Apple's long-term plans for the Apple Watch, noting that Steve Jobs' desire to improve the healthcare system indirectly inspired its development. The article is written by technology consultant Tim Bajarin, who recently spent time at the company's headquarters and met with Apple executives involved with the Apple Watch. He asked them to explain their motivation for creating the wearable device, which was released just over a year ago. According to Bajarin, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs tasked his R&D teams with developing technology that would create a bridge between patients and healthcare providers, after his own experiences within the healthcare system in his battle with pancreatic cancer, which began in 2004. Jobs died from the disease in 2011. During the intervening years, Jobs had become concerned with what he saw as a lack of connection between patients, their data, and healthcare providers, and sought to bring greater order to the system by developing a mobile platform and an ecosystem of devices that would make patient-doctor relationships more efficient and less frustrating. During Bajarin's time at Cupertino, he was invited into Apple's dedicated health labs, where Apple has seven full-time nurses monitoring employee volunteers using advanced medical equipment as they perform various exercises in controlled conditions. Bajarin came away from his visit with the take-home message that while Apple has marketed the Watch as a fashionable timepiece, the company is committed to Jobs'

Apple Announces New Software Framework App Called 'CareKit'

During today's "Let Us Loop You In" media event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, the company unveiled a new software framework called "CareKit" that will allow developers to build apps to "empower people to take on an active role in their care." iPhone apps that support the new framework will allow for users to easily track their symptoms and medication to help provide an overall wider view of their health. The app will have a care card, symptom and measurement tracker, an insight dashboard, and the ability to share medical information with doctors and family members. Since CareKit will be open sourced, developers will be able to continue to iterate on the abilities of these first four modules designed by Apple. • Care Card helps people track their individual care plans and action items, such as taking medication or completing physical therapy exercises. Activities can automatically be tracked and entered using sensors in Apple Watch® or iPhone; • Symptom and Measurement Tracker lets users easily record their symptoms and how they’re feeling, like monitoring temperature for possible infections or measuring pain or fatigue. Progress updates could include simple surveys, photos that capture the progression of a wound or activities calculated by using the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope, like quantifying range of motion; • Insight Dashboard maps symptoms against the action items in the Care Card to easily show how treatments are working; and • Connect makes it easy for people to share information and communicate with doctors, care teams or

Apple Announces New ResearchKit Studies for Autism, Epilepsy and Melanoma

Apple today announced that researchers from Duke University, Johns Hopkins and Oregon Health & Science University are launching three new ResearchKit studies on autism, epilepsy and melanoma.“We’re honored to work with world-class medical institutions and provide them with tools to better understand diseases and ultimately help people lead healthier lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “In just six months, ResearchKit apps studying everything from asthma and diabetes to Parkinson’s disease, are already providing insights to scientists around the world and more than 100,000 participants are choosing to contribute their data to advance science and medical research.”New ResearchKit Studies - Autism & Beyond: Duke University and Duke Medicine, in partnership with Peking University in China and other international institutions, are researching whether the front-facing iPhone camera can be used to detect signs of developmental issues at a much younger age. The study uses emotion detection algorithms to measure a child’s reaction to videos shown on iPhone. - EpiWatch: The EpiWatch app developed by Johns Hopkins will test whether the Apple Watch's sensors can be used to detect the onset and duration of seizures. The app will feature a custom Apple Watch complication that provides patients with one-touch access to record accelerometer and heart rate sensor data, and will also keep a log of all seizures and track medication adherence. - Melanoma: Oregon Health & Science University is studying whether digital images taken on an iPhone can be

ResearchKit Now Available for iPad

Apple has released an updated version of ResearchKit with iPad support and several other new features for developers. ResearchKit 1.1 includes improved slider support, new active tasks, bug fixes, style improvements and more, with some of the changes briefly discussed during Apple's recent What's New in Cocoa Touch session at WWDC this week. The full changelog is listed below.Today we're happy to announce that we've tagged a new stable release of ResearchKit, version 1.1. This new version includes multiple significant contributions: Audiometry active task (Shazino SAS) Reaction time active task (James Cox) Navigable Ordered Task (Ricardo Sánchez-Sáez) iPad support (Ricardo Sánchez-Sáez, Bruce Duncan, and others) Image Capture step (Bruce Duncan) Improved slider support (various contributors) Plus various bug fixes and style improvements Over the past few weeks these changes have had additional review for accessibility, and have been localized to all the languages iOS supports.ResearchKit is a software framework that enables researchers and developers to create apps for iOS users to participate in medical studies. Given that ResearchKit is open source, many of the changes made in the latest version were contributed by third-party developers not employed by Apple. A commit list for the ResearchKit 1.1 update is available for developers on GitHub. (Thanks, Ricardo!)

ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps

LifeMap Solutions, co-creators of the ResearchKit Asthma Health app [Direct Link], yesterday published a blog post detailing the success of the first few weeks of the app's lifespan and how it has engaged its users in return visits as much as some social media and gaming apps on iOS. In the official ResearchKit blog post, LifeMap Solutions details the preliminary findings of the Asthma Health app, which aims to attain greater insight into the disease and subsequently attempt to help users become more educated on the issues at hand. The developers were initially worried about the tricky e-consent process every user must go through when first launching the app, with secondary concerns wondering if users would find the experience as "sticky" and addictive as other apps they use daily. Asthma Health's usage data showcased not only willingness to give e-consent, but a high engagement rate in returning to the app throughout the week. But the gamble paid off. Based on preliminary data for the Asthma Health app, over half of our users not only complete the e-consent process, they also come back the very next day to use the app. This is a very high rate of return for any app, let alone a health-related app. Excitingly, results have shown that users are as engaged (or more!) with Asthma Health as they are with games and social networks. Our working theory is that Asthma Health users are motivated by the goal of supporting research that helps the entire patient community. We plan to test this theory more extensively in the near future. LifeMap Solutions discovered that

Apple Announces ResearchKit Available Today for Developers and Medical Researchers

Apple announced on Tuesday that ResearchKit is available today for developers and medical researchers. Starting today, medical researchers worldwide can use ResearchKit to develop their own apps and developers can also contribute new research modules to the open source framework. Apple has created a ResearchKit page on GitHub with a new blog that will share the latest news, updates and tips about the framework. ResearchKit was previously limited to a handful of exclusive launch partners, including the Weill Cornell Medical College, Mount Sinai, University of Rochester, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Penn Medicine, and Sage Bionetworks, Stanford Medicine and University of Oxford. Now, all developers and medical researchers will have access to the open source framework. Apple introduced ResearchKit at its Spring Forward media event in March, with a lineup of initials apps available that study asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Apple announced that those apps, including Asthma Health, mPower, GlucoSuccess, Share the Journey and MyHeart Counts, have received over 60,000 signups since being released on the App Store last month.“We are delighted and encouraged by the response to ResearchKit from the medical and research community and the participants contributing to medical research. Studies that historically attracted a few hundred participants are now attracting participants in the tens of thousands,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “Medical

IBM Launches Watson Health Cloud, Partners With Apple to Support HealthKit and ResearchKit Apps

Apple partner IBM today announced the launch of Watson Health Cloud, designed to offer physicians, researchers, insurers and health-related companies a secure and open platform for storing health-related data. The platform facilitates the secure sharing of data from multiple types of input, from personal fitness trackers to connected medical devices to doctor-created medical records. The future of health is all about the individual. With the increasing prevalence of personal fitness trackers, connected medical devices, implantables and other sensors that collect real-time information, the average person is likely to generate more than one million gigabytes of health-related data in their lifetime (the equivalent of more than 300 million books). However, it is difficult to connect these dynamic and constantly growing pools of information with more traditional sources such as doctor-created medical records, clinical research and individual genomes --- data sets that are fragmented and not easily shared. A highly scalable and secure global information platform is essential to pull out individualized insights to help people and providers make timely, evidence-based decisions about health-related issues.IBM is expanding its partnership with Apple with IBM Watson Health Cloud to offer a secure cloud platform and analytics services for HealthKit and ResearchKit apps. It will store data entered by customers into iOS apps and give medical researchers a data storage solution that also includes "sophisticated data analytics capabilities."IBM and Apple will expand their

New Interview Offers 'Inside Look' at Potential Origin of ResearchKit

ResearchKit, Apple's new open-source medical framework, was one of the unexpected announcements during the company's Spring Forward media event. Dr. Stephen Friend, one of the key members of the ResearchKit team, talked about the potential genesis of the project in a new interview with Fusion (via iMore). In September 2013, nearly one and a half years before ResearchKit was unveiled, Friend was at Stanford's MedX conference giving a talk about the future of medical research. He explained how he envisioned an open source system where users could upload their medical data to the cloud for researchers to use in trials. Sitting in the audience that day was Michael O'Reilly, M.D., the former Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo Corporation, a pulse oximetry company. O'Reilly had just left Masimo to join Apple, and wanted to build something that could "implement Friend's vision of a patient-centered, medical research utopia and radically change the way clinical studies are done." After Friend’s talk, O’Reilly approached the doctor, and, in typical tight-lipped Apple fashion, said: “I can’t tell you where I work, and I can’t tell you what I do, but I need to talk to you,” Friend recalls. Friend was intrigued, and agreed to meet for coffee.Shortly after his meeting with O'Reilly, Friend started making frequent trips to Apple's HQ in Cupertino, meeting with scientists and engineers. He also organized a DARPA-funded workshop exploring how biosensors could potentially help doctors and scientists understand Parkinson's Disease. Euan Ashley, a Stanford

ResearchKit Receives Thousands of Sign-Ups Following Launch

Less than twenty-four hours after Apple unveiled ch">ResearchKit, the open source medical framework had received thousands of sign-ups, according to Bloomberg. The report claims that Stanford University researchers awoke on Tuesday morning, the day after Apple's "Spring Forward" media event, to discover that 11,000 people signed up for MyHeart Counts, a cardiovascular disease app built using ResearchKit.“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”ResearchKit is an open source software framework aimed at revolutionizing medical studies by making them more readily available to millions of iPhone users worldwide. When given permission, the framework uses the iPhone's various sensors to collect user data such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, information that Apple hopes will open up new possibilities for researchers. Apple will also enable users to answer surveys and input data directly from ResearchKit apps, although researchers caution that information collected from an iPhone user may be misleading due to various potential flaws. For starters, the report claims that iPhone users are more likely to have a graduate or doctoral degree than Android users, and the demographic differences can allegedly skew the results. “Just collecting lots of information about people -- who may or may not have a particular disease, and may or may not represent the typical

Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research

Apple SVP of Operations, Jeff Williams, today announced "ResearchKit", a new open source software framework in the vein of HomeKit and HealthKit that will turn an iPhone into "powerful diagnostic tools for medical research." The new software aims to assist doctors and scientist gather data at a faster and more accurate rate via the accessibility of the iPhone. Williams mentioned multiple conditions that ResearchKit will be aimed at, including: Parkinson's, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Asthma and Breast cancer. Apple also promised it "will not see your data" when reiterating on Privacy of the new ResearchKit app. "iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before.” When given permission, ResearchKit will attain user data like weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, most measured thanks to third-party devices and apps. The service will also give researches a more streamlined experience in recruiting and gaining data from study participants, allowing users to answer surveys and input data right from the app. ResearchKit will be released next month, and those first five apps mentioned by Williams at the conference are going