Announced during its WWDC developer conference this week, Apple plans to launch a new “Apple Watch Limited Grant” program later this year for researchers using its ResearchKit and CareKit platforms.
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Apple Watch Limited Grant Program (Investigator Support Pilot)
The new Apple Watch Grant Program is part of an initiative Apple calls its “Investigator Support Pilot” coming this fall in an effort to offer support to researchers. It will launch with a redesigned website for ResearchKit and CareKit that includes a number of new resources along with updates for developers building apps for the frameworks.
Apple said the new initiative, which is currently still in development, will have a simple submission process through the redesigned ResearchKit and CareKit website. While details on the new program were light during Apple’s presentation, the company said it would prioritize “studies that advance science and help people to lead healthier lives by uniquely leveraging our ecosystem,” and that more info would be available on the new website soon.
Along with the new Apple Watch Grant Program, this year Apple is launching CareKit 2.0 with a totally revamped framework that is completely rewritten in Swift.
It includes a new UI (pictured above), and the framework is now separated into CareKit UI and CareKit Store to allow developers even more ways to tap into CareKit features in their apps. The big benefit of the separation is that developers building things like patient care apps will now be able to easily utilize the CareKit UI without using the on-device database now known as CareKit Store.
Apple is also updating the ResearchKit framework this year to include refined questionnaires for participants with a new UI. In addition, coming soon are new tasks for Visual Acuity and Contrast Sensitivity that utilize the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera, as well as new hearing and speech tasks that will give developers even more options to collect data through ResearchKit apps.
Developers can learn more about the Apple Watch Grant Program and all the ResearchKit and CareKit updates at Apple’s developer website.