Apple is partnering with three universities to expand the use of its ResearchKit program.
ResearchKit is a platform that lets administrators leverage the data collected via Apple devices for serious academic and medical research. The built-in sensors of the iPhone and the Apple Watch can help to track biometric data such as heart rate, while peripheral add-ons can be used to get even more advanced data related to glucose levels, blood pressure, and so on. ResearchKit helps to organize that data for wide-ranging studies.
Apple’s newest partners to take advantage of ResearchKit are Duke University, Johns Hopkins, and Oregon Health & Science University. Duke and OHSU both aim to take advantage of the iPhone’s imaging capabilities, with OHSU using still images to map out the spread of moles and melanoma, and Duke using the front-facing camera to apply facial scanning software to iPhone video footage in a study aimed at detecting autism in children. The Johns Hopkins study, meanwhile, is aiming to use the Apple Watch‘s accelerometers to study seizures.
As TechCrunch notes, there are already 100,000 people enrolled in studies using ResearchKit, and as that number continues to expand, it will offer an increasingly important contribution to the field of medical research. And with mobile devices’ biometric capabilities continuing to advance, future devices could lead to even more impactful research. ResearchKit is becoming perhaps one of the most important indicators of how mobile biometrics can be used to benefit society.