ResearchKit is a software framework for the medical world that works closely with iPhone and HealthKit. It was announced at the Spring Forward event from Apple on March 9, 2015.
ResearchKit: aimed at the medical profession
With ResearchKit, medical researchers can use the iPhone to perform certain research or other tests. The framework is used to develop medical applications, which according to Apple make medical examinations easier. There are already several apps developed with ResearchKit. An example is an application that is specifically targeted at Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson-app can be used for carrying out a tap (on the basis of two touch buttons) or voice test.
For the latter the user should say ‘aaah’ into the microphone of an iPhone, after which the application can determine on the basis of voice and vibrations if/or the extent to which the user has Parkinson’s. There are also applications developed that focus on diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and asthma.
Obviously ResearchKit works with the standard Health app in iOS 8 or higher. In this application, all the data from ResearchKit is collected, in the same way as how other applications which currently do. Because ResearchKit works with medical and thus privacy-sensitive information, during the presentation Apple emphasized that data are not stored anywhere, not even Apple.
ResearchKit is available since April 2015 for every iPhone user with iOS 8 or higher.