ResearchKit and CareKit

Empowering medical researchers, doctors, and now you.

Doctors around the world are using iPhone to transform the way we think about health. Apps created with ResearchKit are already producing medical insights and discoveries at a pace and scale never seen before. That success has inspired us to widen the scope from medical research to personal care with the introduction of CareKit — a framework for developers to build apps that let you manage your own well-being on a daily basis.

Watch the film

ResearchKitWhen medical research gets easier, understanding disease is simpler.

For medical researchers, the first step to battling disease is understanding it. ResearchKit is helping researchers achieve that goal. An open source framework for building apps, ResearchKit makes it easier to enrol participants and conduct studies. Since its introduction, the amount of data collected — and the insight gained — has been groundbreaking.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms can fluctuate from day to day. With the mPower app, Melinda Penkava can track her condition on a daily basis and share the information with her care team — from wherever she happens to be.

More participants mean more data. And more meaningful results.

The biggest challenge medical researchers face is recruiting participants. Often just a handful of people are used in a study. But the sheer number of iPhone users around the globe means that apps built on ResearchKit can enrol participants and gather data in bigger numbers than ever. Information can also be collected with far more regularity — daily or even hourly — as people go about their lives. The result is a much larger and more varied study group, more frequent data, and a more accurate representation of the population.

Taking research out of the lab and into the real world.

ResearchKit makes it easy for you to sign up for and participate in a study by using the iPhone that’s already in your pocket. You no longer have to travel to a hospital or facility to complete tasks and fill out questionnaires. Instead, you can perform activities using the advanced sensors in iPhone to generate incredibly precise data wherever you are, providing a source of information that’s more objective than ever before.

We’ve gone as far as we can with traditional research. Now we have technology in our pockets that lets us go even further.

Dr Helen Link Egger, Duke University Medical Center

Research has already come a long way — fast.

In a short amount of time, the apps built on ResearchKit have helped medical institutions enrol an unprecedented number of participants in their studies. Which, in turn, is helping researchers gain insights and discover correlations that were simply not possible before.

Creating a clearer picture of Parkinson’s disease.

Since its launch in 2015, the mPower app has enrolled over 10,000 participants, making it the largest Parkinson’s study in history — with 93 per cent of participants never having taken part in any kind of research before. The app helps researchers better understand Parkinson’s disease by using the gyroscope and other iPhone features to measure dexterity, balance, gait and memory. Researchers have gained greater insight into the factors that make symptoms better or worse, such as sleep, exercise and mood.

mPower

University of Rochester, Sage Bionetworks

Learn more in the App Store

Discovering a better way to diagnose autism.

Research has shown that early treatment of developmental issues can lead to higher IQs and better social skills. The Autism & Beyond app uses the front-facing HD camera in iPhone, along with innovative facial recognition algorithms, to analyse emotional reactions to videos in children as young as 18 months. And children can be screened without having to see a specialist in person, allowing for earlier diagnosis and treatment. The app successfully enrolled more people in the first month than a previous nine-month onsite study.

Autism & Beyond

Duke University, University of Cape Town

Learn more in the App Store

Finding a way to predict seizures with Apple Watch.

Researchers hope Apple Watch could eventually help predict seizures before they happen. Since its launch, the EpiWatch app has enabled people to accurately track the onset and duration of seizures in real time, creating a correlation between episode history and medication. Participants sensing an impending seizure launch the app by tapping a custom complication on Apple Watch. The accelerometer and heart rate sensors are triggered, and an alert is automatically sent to a designated family member or caregiver.

EpiWatch

Johns Hopkins University

Learn more in the App Store
The Autism & Beyond app lets schools screen for autism as easily as they do for hearing and vision issues. Early detection of autism is a crucial factor in providing effective treatment.

You can participate in a study. Download one of these apps today.

Asthma

Using the GPS feature in iPhone, the Asthma Health app helps participants better manage their condition by providing real-time information on areas with poor air quality. And because the study tracks patterns at an individual level, researchers hope to discover new ways to personalise treatment.

Asthma Health

Mount Sinai, Weill Cornell Medical College, LifeMap

Learn more in the App Store

Concussion

The Concussion Tracker app monitors patients for six weeks after a head injury. By tracking heart rate patterns and recording physical and cognitive function, researchers aim to better understand the long-term health consequences of concussions.

Concussion Tracker

NYU Langone Medical Center

Learn more in the App Store

COPD

The StopCOPD app is being used to learn more about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and to identify risk factors. Using sensors in Apple Watch, the app measures health data like physical activity, heart rate and sleep patterns to see how they affect respiratory symptoms.

StopCOPD

DatStat

Learn more in the App Store

Diabetes

Using the accelerometer and gyroscope in iPhone to measure movement, along with self-reports of food intake and medication compliance, the GlucoSuccess app helps researchers study the relationship between glucose levels and activity, diet and treatment. Results are already showing support for the growing belief that there are several subtypes of Type 2 diabetes, some of which are more responsive to exercise than others.

GlucoSuccess

Massachusetts General Hospital

Learn more in the App Store

Hepatitis C

Using a combination of health metrics — including heart rate and activity levels — along with surveys on symptoms and treatment, the C Tracker app gives researchers insight into how the Hepatitis C virus and current medications affect people’s lives.

C Tracker

Boston Children’s Hospital

Learn more in the App Store

Melanoma

Using the Mole Mapper app, people can photograph and track their moles over time to see if and how they are changing. By collecting images from tens of thousands of participants, researchers hope to create an algorithm that can screen for melanomas in their earliest stages.

Mole Mapper

Oregon Health & Science University

Learn more in the App Store

Postnatal Depression

The PPD ACT app will help researchers understand whether there is a genetic predisposition for postnatal (or post-partum) depression. It’s the first app to use iPhone to enable consent for a DNA sample collection, making the process much easier than before. After opting in, participants are sent a kit that’s simple to use and return by post.

PPD ACT

University of North Carolina, National Institute of Mental Health

Learn more in the App Store

Sleep Health

Researchers are using the SleepHealth app to identify connections between sleep habits and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, COPD and depression. Using sensors in Apple Watch, the SleepHealth app tests daytime alertness and measures the data against self-reported sleep patterns and sleep quality.

SleepHealth

University of California San Diego, American Sleep Apnea Association

Learn more in the App Store

More great apps have been built with ResearchKit.

See them all in the App Store

CareKit The more you know about your health, the better you can look after it.

With the right tools, you can play an active role in managing your own health. That’s why we created CareKit — an open source software framework enabling developers to build apps that help you manage your medical conditions. Rather than relying solely on doctor visits, you’ll be able to regularly track your symptoms and medications, and even share the information with your care team for a bigger — and better — picture of your health.

The EpiWatch app lets you send a notification to a loved one when a seizure is coming on. For Shaina Mims, it’s a feature that offers a sense of security. “It feels like I have power over this. It could save a life.”


Great apps are already being developed using CareKit.

Developers are already using the CareKit framework to create personal care apps. Soon you’ll be able to use apps that incorporate CareKit modules such as Care Card and Insight Dashboard. You’ll also be able to connect directly with your care team. Here are a few of the first apps.

Bringing patients better post-surgical care.

This post-surgery app will give you a better way to take care of yourself when you leave the hospital. Using the Care Card module of CareKit, the app will let you easily keep track of your post-surgical needs — like monitoring pain levels, temperature, range of mobility, and medication — and help you stay more connected with your doctor. Care teams will be able to look at the data you enter and reach out if you need to see your doctor.

Post-surgical care app

Texas Medical Center

Coming soon

Managing chronic conditions day to day.

Chronic conditions can be challenging to live with. This chronic disease management app will give you and your doctors a window into your daily symptoms, for better insight and more personalised ongoing care. Using the Insight Dashboard module of CareKit, the app will let you see your progress over time, quickly revealing which treatments are working. And you’ll be able to share the information with your care team.

Chronic conditions care app

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Coming soon

An easier way to manage diabetes.

Living with diabetes means constantly managing your blood sugar. The One Drop app incorporates CareKit modules that let you monitor how you’re feeling. You’ll be able to track your pain, hunger and dizziness against measurements such as your glucose levels. And all this information can easily be shared with loved ones and caregivers directly from the app.

Diabetes care app

One Drop

Learn more in the App Store

We’re trying to bring care to patients, wherever they are, right on their phones.

Dr Ray Dorsey, University of Rochester

PrivacyShare your data, keep your privacy.

We know how much you value the privacy of your information, and both ResearchKit and CareKit have been designed with that in mind. You choose which research studies you want to join, you control what information you provide to which apps, and you can always see the data you’re sharing.

PartnersWe’re working with an accomplished medical community.

To develop ResearchKit and CareKit, we consulted leading hospitals, medical institutions and foundations around the world. Their experiences and insights have helped us create software frameworks tailored both to the needs of individuals and to the challenges faced by modern medical researchers.

  • American Heart Association
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • COPD
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Duke Medicine
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Keck Medicine of USC
  • Keio University Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • OHSU
  • Sage Bionetworks
  • Stanford Medicine
  • UCSF
  • Universitats Freiburg Klinikum
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Yale School of Medicine

Open source.
So the world can make the most of it.

We’ve made ResearchKit and CareKit open source because we want everyone to be able to contribute to medical research and benefit from improved personal care. Open source frameworks are the best way to encourage the medical community and developers to collaborate and share their apps and methods. And we can’t wait to see what they do.

ResearchKit

ResearchKit is available to developers worldwide. Learn more at researchkit.org.

If you’re a researcher interested in learning more, please contact us.

CareKit

CareKit is available to developers worldwide. Learn more at carekit.org.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.