Apple on Tuesday announced that ResearchKit, the software framework designed for medical and health research, is now available to researchers and developers.
“We are delighted and encouraged by the response to ResearchKit from the medical and research community and the participants contributing to medical research. Studies that historically attracted a few hundred participants are now attracting participants in the tens of thousands,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “Medical researchers all over the world are actively exploring how ResearchKit can help them study even more diseases, and we believe the impact on global understanding of health and wellness will be profound.”
Previously, ResearchKit was limited to a handful of launch partners, including the Weill Cornell Medical College, Mount Sinai, University of Rochester, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Penn Medicine, and Sage Bionetworks, Stanford Medicine and University of Oxford. All developers will now have access to the framework.
When granted permission by the participant, ResearchKit apps can access data from advanced iPhone sensors like the accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and GPS to gain insight into a participant’s activity levels, motor impairments, memory and more.
The framework also works seamlessly with HealthKit, a software framework introduced by Apple in iOS 8 which provides developers tools to create health and fitness apps that communicate with each other.
“With permission from the participant, ResearchKit apps can access and use data from the Health app such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, which are measured by third-party devices and apps.”