Much has been written over the past few months about Apple ResearchKit and its potential to completely revolutionize R&D in the life sciences industry. The idea is simple. And it got me thinking; is the iPhone the most powerful clinical research tool ever invented?
Apple’s ResearchKit uses an open source technology framework to allow research institutions running clinical trials to design apps that tap into the iPhone’s many sensors to collect and send data. With ResearchKit, the iPhone becomes a clincial research tool that can measure vital signs, share patient-reported outcomes, and harvest information. The technology will enable people to opt in to clinical trials from anywhere in the world. The iPhone also then becomes a powerful diagnostic tool that will enable vital information to be shared with physicians, hospitals, health centers, and more. This is, in my opinion, a new frontier for mHealth; one that is both exciting and thought provoking at the same time. Apple ResearchKit has the potential to transform entire industries including outsourced clinical research, diagnostics and drug development. But it is very early days.