This week, Apple announced that ResearchKit is enabling new research studies on autism, epilepsy and melanoma.
If you’re not familiar, ResearchKit turns Apple’s iPhone into a powerful tool for medical research by helping doctors, scientists and other researchers gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps.
“We’re honored to work with world-class medical institutions and provide them with tools to better understand diseases and ultimately help people lead healthier lives,” says Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “In just six months, ResearchKit apps studying everything from asthma and diabetes to Parkinson’s disease, are already providing insights to scientists around the world and more than 100,000 participants are choosing to contribute their data to advance science and medical research.”
With regard to autism, Apple says that Duke University and Duke Medicine are launching “Autism & Beyond” for parents with concerns about autism and other developmental issues.
The Duke research team is looking at whether the front-facing camera on an iPhone can be used to detect signs of developmental issues at a much younger age. The app uses novel emotion detection algorithms to measure a child’s reaction to videos shown on iPhone. Duke is partnering with Peking University in China and other international partners to conduct the study.
For epilepsy, the new EpiWatch app developed by Johns Hopkins is the first study of its kind to be conducted with Apple Watch using ResearchKit.
The study will test whether the wearable sensors included in Apple Watch can be used to detect the onset and duration of seizures.
Lastly, when it comes to melanoma, Oregon Health & Science University is studying whether digital images taken on an iPhone can be used to learn about mole growth and melanoma risks and could help people better manage skin health by photographing and measuring mole size over time.
To read Apple’s press release in full, click here.