ResearchKit Asthma Health
The Asthma Health app launched alongside ResearchKit. Courtesy of Apple

Apple’s Medical Research App Just Proved That It Really Works

Mar 15, 2017

One of the biggest challenges in the digital health space is proving that groundbreaking new technologies actually live up to the accuracy standards of tested, tried, and true "old school" methods. On that front, Apple's ResearchKit just got some seriously encouraging news.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai researchers found that the Asthma Mobile Health Study, powered by the ResearchKit-linked iPhone app Asthma Health (and launched at the same time as ResearchKit's debut in 2015), produced survey results in line with existing research on asthma patients.

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That led investigators to conclude that ResearchKit is "particularly suitable for studies of short duration that require rapid enrollment across diverse geographical locations, frequent data collection, and real-time feedback to participants," according to Yvonne Chan, who heads up the digital health and personalized medicine unit at Mount Sinai.

"Our study demonstrates the power of mobile health tools to scale and accelerate clinical research so that we can derive the evidence needed to inform clinical practice and improve patient care," she said.

ResearchKit is being used for a number of different medical studies, including for tracking epilepsy patients' daily experiences and several other trials. While the asthma trial data is just one point, the study's results could go a long way in assuring scientists that information generated through the platform (at least for certain kinds of studies) is on point.

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