Apple Designs New App to Allow Use of iPhones to Recruit and Track Patients in Clinical Study as One Strategy to Become a Player in Healthcare Big Data
Researchers, including pathologists, can use Apple’s ResearchKit app to help collect and share genetic information about cancers and other diseases while building a huge genome database
By providing tools to allow users to be more productive in working with healthcare big data, several Silicon Valley giants hope to increase their presence in medical services. The latest company to enter the field is Apple Computers (NASDAQ:AAPL). In March it announced the availability of ResearchKit, an open-source software framework that turns the iPhone into a research tool.
Pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists have a stake in the healthcare big data trend, since more than 70% of the typical patient’s permanent medical record consists of medical laboratory test data. Thus, the products introduced by Apple, Google, and other Silicon Valley firms that are designed to help physicians and other professionals work with healthcare big data have the potential to transform the way value is harvested from these data sets.
It was Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) that took the first leap into the medical research arena. Last year, it launched Google X Life Sciences to assemble a database of the human genome. (See Dark Daily, “Google Takes First Steps to Create World’s Largest Human Genome Database as Part of Wider Strategy to Become a Major Player in Healthcare ‘Big Data’” October 14, 2014).
Apple’s strategy is to support researchers. Its ResearchKit is designed to be an open-source software framework that turns the iPhone into a research tool. It enables development of apps that help medical researchers recruit study subjects and collect health information through iPhone’s sensors and surveys. Because it is an open-source platform, researchers also can create apps for Android and Windows devices. (more…)