ResearchKit Receives Thousands of Sign-Ups Following Launch

Less than twenty-four hours after Apple unveiled 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.

ResearchKit
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 patient -- could just add noise and distraction,” said Lisa Schwartz, professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, in an e-mail. “Bias times a million is still bias.”

Meanwhile, an iPhone user simply hitting a button by accident or giving his smartphone to someone else can also result in misleading data. Nevertheless, there are issues with data collected through traditional clinical trials as well, and ResearchKit allowing people to engage in medical research more easily is still valuable and, as Apple claims, could transform the way that medicine is approached forever.

Top Rated Comments

nad8e Avatar
80 months ago
I'm not sure 99% really have any clue just how powerful and amazing the Apple Watch is going to be, when integrated with this type of capabilities!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eac25 Avatar
80 months ago
One thing I find really sad about this, is that Apple promoted the 700+ million iPhones the've sold as a way of indicating the scale of this initiative, but at the same time limits participation to the US. As a Dutch citizen I cannot download the apps in the app store. I know this might change "in the future", but still...
Didn't realize that.. Restricting things like Apple Pay, iTunes Radio, etc make sense (even though it still annoys me), but this doesn't really make sense. Okay, so it's US hospitals conducting the research, but wouldn't more data be valuable?

Seems silly.. Especially like you pointed out, they boast about the number of iPhone users being so high. True, there are probably still a ton of US iPhone users (I'm not sure if the total of all other countries vs the US is higher or lower), but obviously more world-wide
Don't know this for sure, but the restriction may relate to the HIPAA rules in the US associated with the flow of private medical data and/or similar/related laws in other countries. The legislative landscape for health-related information is bound to be quite difficult to navigate, especially when taken at an international scope...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kcmac Avatar
80 months ago
This is ground breaking and perhaps the most important unveil of the keynote. No doubt some new rules and guidelines will need to be established from the traditional methods. If I was a researcher I would be licking my chops. And kudos to Apple for making this open source.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iCore24 Avatar
80 months ago
Thats Amazing! I really hope they make some breakthroughs with the help of it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Max Davidse Avatar
80 months ago
US Only

One thing I find really sad about this, is that Apple promoted the 700+ million iPhones the've sold as a way of indicating the scale of this initiative, but at the same time limits participation to the US. As a Dutch citizen I cannot download the apps in the app store. I know this might change "in the future", but still...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popeye206 Avatar
80 months ago
I'm not sure 99% really have any clue just how powerful and amazing the Apple Watch is going to be, when integrated with this type of capabilities!

Yeah... thinking about... imagine that if we could capture heart rate changes within the hours before a heart attack? Maybe we could learn to alert people that they should take preventative measures?

I think this is a brilliant move on Apple's part and it's great that they are opening it up so it can take on it's own life and advance with the way the research market needs it to.

----------

Are you that naive in thinking that they haven't thought of this yet?

A team full of medical doctors, PHDs, analysts, engineers, couldn't have thought.. hmm maybe people want to exit something after they signed up.

I thought they covered this two ways... one was that it was opt-in... so you would assume "opt-out" too.. and, Apple made it clear all data collected was not tied to any user.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...