Last month, Apple revealed a new Framework known as Research Kit. As the name suggests, it, along with Health Kit are intended to facilitate medical research by simplifying the development of medical apps that are essentially diagnostic tools.
Apple has taken this innovative step to aid medical researchers who can now engage large numbers of individuals, all over the world to participate in medical research by tracking and generating medical data wherever you are. This will also help to determine the correlation between the symptoms and daily actions like exercise and diet.
The Research Kit helps to remove barriers researchers face while performing medical research. For example, the patients were unable to meet the researcher on specific days preventing the research from progressing further. But now, with the Research Kit, researchers can develop apps that track their patient’s health on a day to day basis, or even hourly, without the research being interrupted.
Research Kit utilizes the many sensors in your IPhone and Apple Watch, like the accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, microphone, GPS, and many more. All these sensors can be utilized in research.
Accelerometer is used to compare an individual’s gate, balance and speed with that of a healthy person.
The microphone is used to figure out the fluctuations in one’s voice. This can be used to diagnose Parkinson’s or other health related problems.
Touch screen senses the tapping of a person to detect the inconsistencies which might signal the onset of a disease.
The GPS from your device can be combined with information relating to the air quality in your area. This can help you to avoid areas where your health can be affected.
Several applications have already been developed which gain insight into some serious diseases.
The more people contributing their data, the greater the accuracy of ongoing research.
This initiative taken by Apple will definitely transform the medical world and will revolutionize medical research.
Most of us might think that the Research Kit may compromise personal information. Is it safe to use? What if the data is shared with a third party? You decide whether to participate in a study. You decide how your data is shared. Apple will not see your data. Apple has made a commitment that the customer’s data will be protected and has taken steps to make sure that the data does not fall into the wrong hands.
Apple had made the Research Kit open source. The code which is used to write the software is available to the public. This allows bugs in the software to be reported quickly, so they can be addressed as soon as possible.
Apple Research Kit has already gained popularity in many medical colleges, universities and institutions. Research Kit Apps are already available in the App Store. Thousands of people have signed up for the various medical studies. So far, the Research Kit appears to be delivering on it’s promise.