Beyond the unveiling of the much anticipated Apple Watch yesterday, the tech giant has also announced a slew of other products mods and services including a new open source iOS framework that lets iPhone users sign up for medical studies researching Parkinson’s Disease, Asthma, Breast Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, and Diabetes.
The new framework, ResearchKit, allows researchers to develop apps on iOS that “gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before”.
“iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health,” says Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “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.”
Apple worked with 12 research institutions, including Oxford and Harvard, in developing the application and has already been used to develop five applications testing one or any combination of Parkinson’s disease, asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The apps were launched yesterday and are already available the App Store.
One of such applications is the Parkinson mPower, developed by Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester. The app helps people living with Parkinson’s disease track their symptoms by recording activities using sensors in iPhone. Survey data are combined to fuel Parkinson’s research at a scale never before possible, making this the world’s largest and most comprehensive study of this disease.
ResearchKit will be released as an open source framework next month. “The ResearchKit is available on the App Store in the US and will be rolling out to more countries in the future,” says Apple.
Image via: Apple