ResearchKit as popular as social media, says medical dev

ResearchKit as popular as social media, says medical dev

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ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped.
ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

As the largest crowdsourced medical data-gathering app ever, ResearchKit is arguably one of the most important inventions of recent times. And according to LifeMap Solutions, the company behind inaugural ResearchKit app Asthma Health, it’s more than living up to its promise.

In an official ResearchKit blog post, a rep for the company describes how users are as engaged with Asthma Health — an app which monitors asthma symptoms across a variety of conditions — as they are with social networks and games!

Photo: Asthma Health
Photo: Asthma Health

The devs write that:

“Based on preliminary data for the Asthma Health app, over half of our users not only complete the e-consent process, they also come back the very next day to use the app. This is a very high rate of return for any app, let alone a health-related app … Excitingly, results have shown that users are as engaged (or more!) with Asthma Health as they are with games and social networks. Our working theory is that Asthma Health users are motivated by the goal of supporting research that helps the entire patient community. We plan to test this theory more extensively in the near future.”

Apple unveiled ResearchKit back in March in one of the (surprisingly) most exciting moments at an event that was ostensibly about the Apple Watch. The first five ResearchKit apps — including Asthma Health — enrolled over 60,000 iPhone users in the first few weeks.

Recently Apple opened up the framework to researchers everywhere, making Asthma Health’s new blog post a perfectly-timed advertisement for the service.