Those of you who tend to avoid Apple’s over the top and typically self -congratulatory love fests that they call launches, may have missed an interesting development in the research world this week.

With the launch of the new products and updates, Apple announced Research Kit for iPhone. The software allows researchers to design studies and recruit using the iPhone. If you think this is a gimmick, some major research centres are taking it very seriously. The first five studies launched include:

  • Parkinson’s disease – University of Rochester, Sage bionetworks,
  • Cardiovascular disease – Stanford Medical Centre, University of Oxford
  • Asthma – Mt Sinai Hospital, Weil Cornell Medical College and Life Map
  • Breast cancer – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Penn Medicine and Sage bionetworks
  • Diabetes – Massachusetts Medical Centre

These studies don’t just use the iPhone, bluetooth enabled devices add to the data that can be collected.

If you build it will they come? You bet. Stanford researchers awoke to find that 11,000 people had signed up to their study in under 24 hrs..

That’s not to say there are no potential issues, but on recruitment and volume of data alone, this could be a game changer.

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