Mount Sinai, Yale roll out updates to Apple ResearchKit programs

Yale researchers will use Apple's ResearchKit for a study of individuals with heart disease.--Courtesy of Apple

The set of studies running on Apple's ($AAPL) ResearchKit is continuing to expand and improve. Yale School of Medicine and The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are the latest to step up their use of the platform, rolling out a new heart condition study and refining an asthma app, respectively.

Dr. E. Kevin Hall has been working on the heart condition study for several months, culminating this week in the start of the Yale Cardiomyopathy Index. The study, the app for which was coded by Hall, is tracking quality-of-life measures in people who have or may develop cardiomyopathy, a term for diseases that cause heart muscle to become stiff, stretched or thickened. Hall and his team want to use the data-gathering capabilities of Apple's iPhone and the accompanying ResearchKit platform to better understand the effects such conditions have on children and young adults.

The app features questionnaires tailored to different age groups of kids with cardiomyopathy and their parents, plus a 6-minute walk test to gather objective physical information. ResearchKit, with its ability to turn every iPhone user into a clinical trial participant, is unusually well placed to gather such data on a large scale. Hall is hoping the ability to monitor the lives of patients between site visits will lead to insights that improve care. "Understanding how these conditions affect people's day-to-day lives is of significant importance in better treating patients," he said in a statement.

Mount Sinai and its collaborator LifeMap Solutions are further along with their ResearchKit program. Having gathered 6 months of data and feedback, the team has identified the ability to share data gathered by the app with physicians as a notable omission of the original version of Asthma Health. The updated app includes a Doctor Dashboard to display data on a patient's asthma condition, symptom control and activity to their healthcare provider. Mount Sinai has also integrated the app with Epic's EHR system to make it easier for its physicians to pull up data from the app.

- read Yale's release
- and LifeMap's statement