Early success for Apple medical ResearchKit


Just eight weeks after being launched, Apple’s iPhone ResearchKit is producing benefits. Medical researchers, for example, have been able to sign up more than 11,000 volunteer participants for a cardiovascular disease study in one day. It used to take a year! With more than 700 million iPhone users worldwide, ResearchKit enables medical researchers to commence clinical trials of new prescription medicines earlier because delays in recruiting volunteer patients are eliminated. ResearchKit also makes data capture and management more efficient.

LifeMap Solutions, the company behind one of the first ResearchKit apps – Asthma Health, is also reporting very positive conversion rates through the process of sign-up, consent and participation. More than 50% of all sign-ups are completing the consent process and using the app to record information the very next day.

Other non-medical data is also providing valuable insights. Participants are just as engaged with Asthma Health as gamers or social network users. Counterintuitively participants also respond well to weekly reminders to stay on top of their reporting.

Apple ResearchKit is open source and five apps are currently available for studying asthma, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Apple establishing partnerships with leading international medical research institutions has provided ResearchKit with strong foundations.

Apple's not the only company to use iPhone data to track your medical health. Cellscope has incorporated medical diagnostics to screen your blood for parasites.