Apple Makes ResearchKit Available to Medical Researchers - Analyst Blog

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Apple Inc.AAPL announced that its ResearchKit software can now be used by medical researchers across the globe to conduct their studies and develop their own apps using the open source framework.

The framework has initial research modules comprising basic research study requirements like participant consent, surveys and active tasks. However, doctors and medical researchers can customize these and even add new modules to the ResearchKit as per their requirements.

ResearchKit allows doctors, scientists and other researchers to collect data from a wider range of patients through mobile devices. Furthermore, the data collection is more frequent while meeting accuracy standards.

ResearchKit apps can access data from iPhone sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and GPS on the participant's mobile device. This apart, ResearchKit integrates with HealthKit software that allows health and fitness apps to connect in a seamless manner. Additionally, ResearchKit can access other crucial data about a patient like their weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, asthma inhaler use etc. through the Health app, which consolidates information from third-party devices and applications.

The easy-to-use design of ResearchKit bridges the gap between patients and researchers, securing data from a greater number of patients from across the globe. This feature can enable it to become an important tool for doctors and medical researchers for the advancement of research and development of new solutions.

So far, ResearchKit has been embraced well by Apple's customer base. This is evident from the fact that within a few weeks of its launch, more than 60,000 iPhone users registered for it. The initial research apps were designed to study health conditions like asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular ailment, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Now, the availability of an open source framework is likely to propel the development of a large number of apps for diverse health conditions.

As of now, the apps are available on the App Store for a select range of Apple devices like iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the newest version of iPod touch.

Apart from Apple, another technology company that has forayed into the health sector is IBM Corporation IBM which launched its own medical unit, Watson Health recently. IBM is also collaborating with Apple to access its HealthKit and ResearchKit apps for developing a range of apps for employee health management. Further, IBM has been pursuing strategic acquisitions to expand its presence in the healthcare cloud services market through its Watson Health unit. Even Samsung SSNLF has included a range of health-centric apps in its latest mobile devices.

Apple current has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another similarly-ranked stock that can be considered is Qualcomm Inc. QCOM .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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