ResearchKit, Apple's ambitious software platform for crowd-sourced medical research, is now available as open source software, which means medical researchers around the world will be able to design and conduct studies using the tool.
ResearchKit works with data culled (with user permission) from Apple's Health app, such as weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels. That provides an enormous potential study population for researchers, who will now be able to customize participation consent forms, surveys, and tasks using Apple device sensors to create their own studies.
ResearchKit debuted last month with five apps from institutions such as Stanford University, UCLA, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine designed to study asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease; these apps have already enrolled more than 60,000 people in the weeks since their announcement. The availability of ResearchKit to all medical researchers means that number is sure to grow.
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
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