Apple announces medical research framework for iOS developers.

Arielle Duhaime-Ross reporting for The Verge

Apple announced today that it will help researchers recruit medical research participants through ResearchKit, a software medical platform that will turn the iPhone and HealthKit into diagnostic tools.

The framework doesn’t just help with recruitment, it also seems to administer some tests, as well as reporting the results back to the research team.

ResearchKit will be released next month as an open source platform, but Apple will release five disease-specific apps today. Those apps include an app to track Parkinson’s disease symptoms. With it, anyone with an iPhone can contribute to Parkinson’s research, Williams said. A second app will help people who suffer from asthma track how often they use their inhaler. This was already possible with HealthKit, but the data will now be sent to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Apple’s asthma app partner.

The quote from Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations at Apple, caught my eye: “There are hundreds of millions of iPhone owners out there who would gladly contribute. And Apple will not see your data.” Apple are setting themselves apart from other technology manufacturers and service providers with their privacy policies. This incredibly sensitive area is where that’s more vital than ever.

The research kit website from Apple is great too.