Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Apple opened a software platform for medical research ResearchKit

Apple has announced that the software platform ResearchKit, which helps doctors and scientists to collect data on health via mobile devices, is now available for research and development. The first scientific applications built with it, helps to study asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease, and the number of registered users of the iPhone are more than 60 000 for the first few weeks of the availability of the App Store.

Starting Tuesday day medical researchers around the world will be able to start using ResearchKit to create their own applications, and developers will be able to add new research modules in an open software platform.
"We are delighted and inspired by the responses to the ResearchKit from the medical and scientific community, as well as participants in medical research.Historically, such studies have attracted only a few hundred members, and now their number is measured in tens of thousands - said Jeff Williams, senior vice president of Apple's operating matters. - Medical researchers around the world are actively exploring how ResearchKit can help them in learning more more diseases, and we believe that this platform will have a profound impact on the progress in the understanding of global health".
Open software platform allows any medical researchers use ResearchKit source module for the study of health and a better understanding of the disease. Developers can create new modules based on open source code and add them to ResearchKit. Customizable source modules help to solve the most common problems in studies of: obtaining consent from participants, surveys, and active jobs.
  • Consent of the participants. This is an essential element of any research. ResearchKit includes a visual template e-consent forms that can be customized to clarify the details of the study and obtaining signatures of participants. This module allows the researcher to easily incorporate a variety of elements, such as video clips, explaining the essence of the research, as well as an interactive test to confirm participants' understanding.
  • Polls. The module includes interviews ready interface that allows you to easily customize the questions and answers that fill the participants to instantly send researchers.
  • Active tasks. Module active tasks allows researchers to collect more targeted data, offering participants to perform tasks for which data are collected advanced sensors in the iPhone. Source modules active tasks include assignments to measure motor activity, physical fitness, cognitive and voice. Given the fact that the software platform is open source, researchers can add ResearchKit and other active tasks.
"Platform ResearchKit helped us connect with people around the world who want to make a contribution to medical research, but do not know how to get involved - said Ricky Bloomfield, director of development of mobile technologies and assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at Duke University. - Now, our team of scientists is launching an exciting new study using the platform ResearchKit, which will help us to quickly collect data c more participants than usual, we can attract".
ResearchKit turns the iPhone into an instrument for medical research. If you confirm the consent of the participant, the application ResearchKit access the data of advanced sensors in the iPhone, including the accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and GPS, which allow to measure the activity level of the participant, his movement disorders, memory and other indicators.
ResearchKit works with HealthKit - software platform, first introduced by Apple in iOS 8, which gives developers the ability to integrate data exchange between applications for health and fitness. With the permission of the participant application ResearchKit can receive and use the data application "Health", for example, data on weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and the use of an inhaler, which are measured by third-party devices and applications.