Apple’s ResearchKit | The Power of Collaboration

The Apple Watch Event was, as expected, full of stunning new products. Both the new MacBook and Apple Watch show how Apple continues to make simple products extraordinary. There’s so much I could say about Apple Watch opportunities for iOS developers. Our iOS apps are now more powerful and immediate and we can now create apps that are even more intimate, apps that project outward and interact personally. That being said, we are pleased to announce, Meteo by iNVASIVECODE, the first third-party weather forecasting app for Apple Watch. It’s been fun discovering WatchKit.

Apple Watch is more than a watch, and even in its infancy, it’s already creating waves across industries. So how is it that amongst Apple Watch’s exciting release it was ResearchKit, a forthcoming open source framework specifically intended for medical research, that excited me most; that enforced my belief that iOS developers will profoundly impact our world? The answer: Collaboration.

If one looks closely at the blur of innovation that has occurred over the past ten years, it’s impossible not to see that interconnection, personal empowerment and a new found ability to collaborate seamlessly has disrupted many longstanding social, political and economic paradigms. Airbnb, Tinder, Uber, and the use of Social Media to topple oppressive dictatorships, are all vivid examples of how technology changes the way we interact, changes who we trust, changes how we can leverage our resources, changes everything.

With ResearchKit, Apple unites diversity by linking technical innovators to academic and medical institutions. When Apple introduced HealthKit, last year, it was focused on individual health and the new found ability to gather data with iPhone and other mobile devices. HealthKit created a significant dialogue between technological innovators and medical professionals, and leaders across industries began realizing the enormous untapped potential of using mobile technology to create personal health and medical solutions. Some significant, age-old challenges to medical research are limited participation, subjective and infrequent data, and one-way communication. All of these challenges are easily combated by our current smartphone revolution. And when Jeff Williams, Apple’s Senior Vice president of Operations, introduced ResearchKit he succinctly stated, “There are hundreds of millions of iPhone users in the world, and many of them would gladly participate in these studies if it were only simpler and easier to do so.”

ResearchKit promises to increase our ability to collaborate, to share data, to see more, to create new solutions that enhance and save lives through medical innovation. Apple has intentionally released ResearchKit as open source because its power is the vast interconnected world. In order for ResearchKit to fully realize its potential, it must not limit itself to one platform or certain devices. It must be available to the largest population possible.

Less than 24 hours after ResearchKit’s introduction, 11,000 people signed up for a Stanford University study on cardiovascular health. “To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”

But this is just the beginning. This past week, through our iOS consulting, we’ve already experienced increased interest in iOS apps for Health and Medical innovation. And we’ve already begun enhancing iOS solutions for Throw Like a Pro, a sports injury prevention app we built in 2014 for professional sports’ preeminent orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

At iNVASIVECODE, we’re always excited when Apple releases new iOS development tools. New iOS development tools increase our capacity for solutions, and we’re consistently amazed by the new ideas and innovative solutions that arise during our iOS training bootcamps and the iOS consulting process. ResearchKit opens the gates of discovery, essential enhancing our capacity to achieve a positive medical revolution on a global scale. It places iOS development, once again, at the apex of innovation.

—Andrew Gaylord

Andrew Gaylord, iNVASIVECODE’s Community Manager, believes that clarity is beauty’s essence. By simplifying innovative mobile technology, Andrew seeks to enhance experiences and solve difficult problems. After graduating from Harvard University with a BA in Social Anthropology, Andrew found adventure in far away places as a mountain and river guide. Now, while completing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at University of San Francisco, Andrew has become an expert on the subtle power of language.

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