Apple Enlists Your iPhone for Medical Research

Apple says it wants to turn the iPhone into a "powerful" tool for medical research and collect health data from users. ResearchKit is an open-source software kit designed for medical and health research to help doctors and scientists gather data from willing participants.

ResearchKit was among several announcements at today's highly anticipated event in San Francisco. Research institutions like the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have already used it for studies on breast cancer, Parkinson's disease, asthma and cardiovascular disease, Apple says.

The Asthma Health app, developed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and LifeMap Solutions, used ResearchKit to facilitate asthma patient education and self-monitoring among other uses.

ResearchKit also makes it easier to recruit participants for large-scale studies, but users choose in which studies to participate and the data they want to provide in each study, Apple says.

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