ResearchKit

Researchers explore ‘frontiers of heart health’ with Apple Watch

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Apple Watch is already helping researchers study heart health in various ways.
Apple Watch is already helping researchers study heart health in various ways.
Photo: Apple

Apple highlighted Apple Watch’s potential as a heart-health monitor on Tuesday, referring to its increasing usefulness to health researchers and medical personnel.

In addition to the ResearchKit and CareKit programs rolled out in 2015, Apple said it launched its Investigator Support Program. In it, health researchers get Apple Watches to study the heart.

Apple is wrapping up its heart rate study on Apple Watch

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Apple teamed up with Stanford Medicine researchers for the study.
Photo: Apple

A large-scale study into heart health among Apple Watch owners is coming to an end, with Apple informing some users who signed up that their contribution is now complete.

The study took the form of an app, previously open to all Apple Watch owners in the U.S., 22-years and older, with a Series 1 or above. Called Apple Heart Study, the initiative was a collaboration between Apple and Stanford Medicine. It launched in November 2017.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms tracking is coming to Apple Watch

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ResearchKit
ResearchKit is getting better at tracking Parkinson's disease.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of MacYour Apple Watch will soon be able to track symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, thanks to a new API from Apple.

Details of Apple’s big software updates are still flowing out of the San Jose convention center as Apple dives into the details during sessions. During its session on advances in research and card frameworks Tuesday the company revealed it’s developed a new Movement Disorder API that could be groundbreaking for people with the disease.

Live blog: Apple’s first big product unveiling of 2018

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Apple Education Event invitation
Apple is focusing on students and teacher for its first keynote.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first big event of 2018 is practically here! Unlike most Apple keynotes, today’s “field trip” education-oriented event in Chicago won’t be streamed live.

Don’t worry. Cult of Mac will be in attendance and we’ll be live blogging everything with up-to-the-minute info on all the new goodies. Not only is Apple expected to preview some new educational software, but we could also see a new iPad, improved Apple Pencil and maybe even a new MacBook Air.

The keynote starts Tuesday, March 27, at 10 a.m. Central time. So save this page and get ready for Apple’s most mysterious event in years.

Catch the weird, wonderful and wacky gadgets of CES 2018, on The CultCast

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This ping pong machine is part cyborg, part Forrest Gump.
Photo: Engadget

This week, on a jam-packed, tech-tastic episode of The CultCast: We’ll tell you the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful products revealed at CES 2018, the world’s craziest consumer electronics show. We’ve dug deep to bring you some strange ones!

Our thanks to Casper for supporting this episode. Learn why Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress, and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

Smart toothbrush will use ResearchKit to give you a better clean

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smart brush
This iPhone-connected toothbrush will offer the ultimate clean.
Photo: Colgate

CES 2018 bug Do you want a toothbrush that knows what it’s like to have brushed the teeth of thousands of other people? That’s kind of what Colgate’s new app-enabled electronic toothbrush promises — only way less gross than that makes it sound.

Debuted at CES, the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 with Artificial Intelligence uses AI to provide real-time feedback to users as they clean their pearly whites. It also uses Apple’s ResearchKit platform integration to crowdsource toothbrushing data from other users. The more people clean, the smarter the brush gets!

Apple Watch just got way better at spotting heart problems

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This is one app you may want to download.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch just got a whole lot more indispensable! Today, two major heart-related developments mean Apple’s wearable device could one day save your life.

Firstly, Apple teamed up with Stanford Medicine to launch an Apple Watch heart app that looks for deadly atrial fibrillation. It alerts users when they experience irregular heart rhythms, and can actually get them help.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved AliveCor’s Kardiaband EKG reader. It’s the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch.

New ResearchKit app helps cancer patients cope with stress of diagnosis

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ResearchKit
ResearchKit is as useful for monitoring mental health as physical health.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s ResearchKit platform isn’t just about physical wellbeing, it’s also being used to help track mental health.

With that in mind, Duke Institute for Health Innovation has launched a new HomeKit-compatible app designed to help cancer patients, survivors, and their caregivers manage the stress accompanying a cancer diagnosis. The app is profiled on Apple’s official ResearchKit blog.

Tim Cook reveals how Apple thinks different about charity

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Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC 2017.
Photo: Apple

After Apple ranked third in Fortune’s annual list of companies that Change the World, Tim Cook sat down for a wide-ranging interview to discuss how Apple is making a dent in the universe now.

The Apple CEO talked about everything from education and health initiatives to how Cupertino thinks different about charity. He also revealed that some of Apple’s research and development regarding health and wellness won’t ever be about making money.

Here are some of the highlights:

ResearchKit gets big update that allows it to gather new types of data

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Two years after its launch, ResearchKit just got a big update.
Photo: Apple

Apple has updated ResearchKit, adding a number of useful functions aimed at improving medical researchers’ ability to use iPhones around the world as mobile health gathering devices.

ResearchKit 1.5 includes three new “active tasks” researchers can incorporate into their studies, along with the added ability to display rich video content to users within apps.

ResearchKit powers WebMD’s ambitious pregnancy study

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ResearchKit is being used for a major new large-scale study into pregnancy.
Photo: WebMD

ResearchKit has another useful trick up its sleeve: monitoring pregnancies.

WebMD has just relaunched its iOS Pregnancy app — and this time it’s integrated ResearchKit technology for a long term research study into the factors which lead to positive pregnancy outcomes.

Researchers want to turn your iPhone into a mood ring

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Your iPhone could soon track your mood as well as your steps.
Photo: Apple

Your Apple devices might be able to help you track steps, workouts and more, but as of yet no iPhone, Apple Watch (or, let’s face it, any other gadget out there) has been able to accurately measure mental and emotional conditions.

That could be changing due to the so-called “Mood Challenge” program from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program calls for researchers and technologists to come up with a way of convincingly tracking mood using an iPhone and ResearchKit — and it’s just announced its five semi-finalists.

Apple hires top medical researcher to boost health game

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Stephen Friend is the latest medical guru to join Apple.
Stephen Friend is the latest medical guru to join Apple.
Photo: TED

One of the biggest names in medical research has joined Apple and will likely provide a huge boost to the company’s medical efforts.

Stephen Friend, co-founder and former president of Sage Bionetworks, accepted a job at Apple recently, and although the two sides are keeping quiet on what exactly Friend will be doing, he’ll likely be one of the leaders of the company’s growing digital health team.

Apple hires Google X Lab co-founder to work on health projects

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Apple's latest hire specialized at building robotic hands.
Apple's latest hire specialized at building robotic hands.
Photo: University of Washington/Flickr

Apple has added yet another wicked smart talent to its ranks recently by hiring famed robotics expert Yoky Matsuoka.

Yoky was working as the head of technology at Nest before joining Apple. She was also one of the co-founders of Google’s X Lab and is a MacArthur genius award winner.

The biggest takeaways from Apple’s tiniest keynote in years

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A size for every hand.
A size for every hand.
Photo: Apple

Evolution, not revolution, was the tone of today’s low-key Apple event. Smaller is better, says Apple, with two big product “reveals” that show off compact new devices with impressive internals.

While most of the announcements today have already been discussed and dissected, like the 4-inch iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands and a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, there were a couple of surprises.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Apple’s oddly low-key “Let us loop you in” event.

ResearchKit is taking aim at hepatitis C

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

ResearchKit is already helping medical researchers make groundbreaking discoveries in areas like Parkinsons disease, autism, and cardiovascular disease. Now the open source software is being put to use to study hepatitis C, a virus we know little about, even though over 3 million Americas suffer from it.

New ResearchKit projects will help tackle autism, epilepsy and melanoma

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ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped.
ResearchKit is continuing to revolutionize medicine.
Photo: Apple

Apple today announced it is expanding its ResearchKit health platform to include new studies on autism, epilepsy and melanoma.

Apple will work with leading universities and research centers including Duke University, John Hopkins, and Oregon Health & Science University.

“We’re honored to work with world-class medical institutions and provide them with tools to better understand diseases and ultimately help people lead healthier lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations.

ResearchKit apps are now available outside the U.S.

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ResearchKit is expanding beyond the U.S.
ResearchKit is expanding beyond the U.S.
Photo: Apple

ResearchKit has already helped scientist make some breakthroughs in the study of diseases like Parkinsons, but the apps powered by Apple’s open-source health software haven’t been made available internationally. Starting today, iOS users in the U.K. and Hong Kong can get in on the ResearchKit action too, thanks to the MyHearth Counts app, which was just made available to to people outside of the U.S. for the first time.

ResearchKit is now available on iPad

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ResearchKit
ResearchKit is already living up to its promise.
Photo: Apple

Apple has already released a steady stream of major and minor software updates and continues to do so with the release of ResearchKit 1.1 that includes several new features, most notable of which is support for iPads.

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!

Apple wants to dissect your genes with the iPhone

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Gene testing, coming soon to an iPhone near you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Gene testing, coming soon to an iPhone near you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo:

The next big feature for the iPhone might involve a lot of spitting. Apple is planning to launch new Research Kit studies at WWDC in June that will focus on DNA studies, according to a new report, claiming Apple is collaborating with researchers in the U.S. to create two new apps.

The new apps will be based on ResearchKit, Apple’s software platform that helps scientists and hospitals run medical studies on the iPhone. If successful, the new studies could give many iPhone users their first look at their genetic information by sending a ‘spit-kit’ to an Apple-approved laboratory.