Purdue Pharma may use ResearchKit-collected drug data for profit

Apple’s ResearchKit platform has received a significant amount of praise since its launch earlier this year alongside iOS 8.2, and now researchers are looking into new ways to take advantage of the platform. BuzzFeed News today published an interesting report detailing how Purdue Pharma is investigating using ResearchKit to aid in its drug R&D efforts, in the first for-profit use of the platform.

“We know that all these changes in tech are going to impact health care, but we don’t know exactly how,” Larry Pickett Jr., Purdue’s vice president and chief information officer, said. “People have been talking about it for a long time, but haven’t been able to figure out how to leverage that data and take advantage of it. My team views ResearchKit as a very significant milestone in being able to move that capability ahead.”

The company has looked into the platform, but has not yet decided to build on app or decided what kind of data to collect. While some questioned Apple’s willingness to work with drug companies like Purdue Pharma, best known for OxyContin painkillers, Apple senior VP of operations Jeff William explained that Apple is willing to work “with anybody that is going to make an impact on people’s health.”

Purdue would be the first pharmaceutical company to develop a ResearchKit app, should it decide to enter the market. Other drug companies told BuzzFeed that they have no interest in the platform at this point, including Gilead Sciences and Pfizer.

Apple earlier this year partnered with IBM to share data collected with HealthKit and ResearchKit with companies like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic.