Apple Announces New ResearchKit Studies for Autism, Epilepsy and Melanoma

ResearchKitApple 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 used to learn about mole growth and melanoma risks. Participants can document mole changes and share them directly with health professionals, and researchers will be able to capture these images to help create detection algorithms for future melanoma screening.

ResearchKit is an open source framework, launched in early 2014, that enables developers to create their own iPhone apps for research purposes, with studies available for asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and more. More than 50 developers and researchers have already contributed new research modules to the open source framework.

In just six months, more than 50 researchers have contributed active tasks to support new methods of research, including tasks to study tone audiometry for hearing loss; the ability to measure reaction time through delivery of a known stimulus to a known response; a timed walk test; PSAT to assess the speed of information processing and working memory, and the mathematical puzzle Tower of Hanoi often used for cognition studies.

ResearchKit apps can access data from the Health app with permission, and use iPhone sensors such as the accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and GPS to track a user's activity levels, motor impairments, memory and more. The research apps, available on the App Store in the U.S. and select other countries, are compatible with the iPhone 5 or later and fifth-generation iPod touch or later.

ResearchKit studies generally have higher signup rates than traditional medical studies, with more than 100,000 participants contributing their data to the iPhone-based platform since its wide launch in April 2014.

Top Rated Comments

TXCherokee Avatar
77 months ago
While I know that Apple does some things that seem to improve their profit margin, it is things like this that make me want to believe there is a group of people there that really do want to change the world for the better. And that, among a few other things, are what keep me buying their products.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
77 months ago
But I thought Apple was just a fashion company that made "iToys"?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hagrid Avatar
77 months ago
Bravo Apple and the great researchers. As TXCherokee already said in another post "it is things like this that make me want to believe there is a group of people there that really do want to change the world for the better. And that, among a few other things, are what keep me buying their products." I couldn't have said it any better
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bigmac4u Avatar
77 months ago
It is so nice and refreshing to read an article and also the comments without the ranting, anger, hate and bullying comments from the "I-don't-know-why-are-you-in-this-blog" kind of people. There is hope for humanity some how.
Great work Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RobQuads Avatar
77 months ago
This is great to see. Having a wife that suffers from Epilepsy this is all good.

As for the question about data - they will be able to analyse the data and while a certain amount of it will be invalid there will be a hell of a lot of valid data. Normally these sorts of studies take a lot of work to get any sort of sizeable data but this really does enable to them to do it in a fraction of the time of traditional system.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tarrant64 Avatar
77 months ago
I want to like what they are doing here, but a lot of the data required to accurately study epilepsy I'm not honestly sure the Apple watch can do. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with. They should probably check out others who have already made great strides in terms of monitoring for epilepsy.

https://www.empatica.com/product-embrace-features
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...