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nature: Smartphones set to boost large-scale health studies

March 10, 2015

nature: Smartphones set to boost large-scale health studies

Helen Shen

Countless owners of smartphones and wearable devices are already using their devices to track their sleep, exercise, blood pressure and other measures of health. Now biomedical researchers could have an easier time recruiting these users to collect and share their data as part of large-scale clinical studies.

On 9 March, Apple launched ResearchKit, an iPhone-based platform that researchers can use to design and administer app-based studies. The company, headquartered in Cupertino, California, debuted the first five apps built with ResearchKit, which are designed to study asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular health, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. ResearchKit will be made available as an open-source framework for other app developers in April.

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