As part of ResearchKit, Apple’s new foray into medical research, five brand new apps have been launched in conjunction with leading medical institutions that utilize the new capabilities of ResearchKit. These first apps cover the areas of asthma, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Below is a first look at some of the new application’s capabilities.

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Set-Up

Each application comes with a relatively standard setup process, with only minor differences between the apps. You’ll first be prompted with a series of simple questions that determines if you’re eligible for the study. If you aren’t, the app won’t be very useful to you. Once you’ve established your consent to participate in the study, you’re ready to begin. You can choose whether you’d like your data to be shared with just the institution behind the app, or with a wider field of researchers.

Use

All of the applications have specific questions you can answer and tests to perform, the results of which are displayed to you once you’ve completed them.

Completed activities count towards your progress in the app for the day, and you can take some of the tests more than once. The apps let you know approximately how long the tests will take and what to expect. Each part of the app has very clear and concise directions.

While you can opt out of these studies at any time, you are encouraged to continue to use the applications every day. Apple has made ResearchKit an open source project starting next month, so we’ll likely continue to see more and more ResearchKit-enabled apps as the weeks and months pass.

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