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
76 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
76 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
76 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
76 months ago
Thats Amazing! I really hope they make some breakthroughs with the help of it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Max Davidse Avatar
76 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
76 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

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...