Apple’s New ResearchKit Could Potentially Innovate the Field of Medical Research

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UPDATED 12/18/20

Every 17 seconds, a new person in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes. This rampant problem is the seventh leading cause of death in the nation. Back in 2012, it cost the U.S. about $245 billion.

Now, your iPhone can help fight back.

On March 9, Apple debuted its new ResearchKit software to develop mobile apps, which will utilize the iPhone’s and other wearable devices’ built-in sensors. Apps developed through ResearchKit will be able to track some 700 million mobile device users’ behaviors in the hopes of collecting an unprecedented amount of data on major diseases.

At its big reveal, the first five apps built with ResearchKit were made available. Scientists from Stanford University’s School of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Massachusetts General Hospital have been amongst the first to develop apps that combat such diseases as heart disease, asthma, and breast cancer.

GlucoSuccess from the Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, allows diabetics to take part in a study that relays feedback to researchers on how the diabetics’ diet and exercise patterns impact their daily glucose readings. It asks voluntary participants if they’ve taken their medicine, and if they’ve inspected their feet.

Another, the mPower app, was built in conjunction with the University of Rochester, Xuanwu Hospital at Capital Medical University in Beijing, and Sage Bionetworks. It can gauge the effects of Parkinsons’ Disease.

Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams said at the release that he hopes ResearchKit will be able to address some of the problems medical research has in its current state, such as limited patient participation and infrequent data sampling.

He also stressed that patients can control the data which they share via the ResearchKit apps, and that sensitive data would only get to be seen by medical researchers, promising that “Apple will not see your data.”

internists

A person with diabetes is called a diabetic. Individuals with diabetes often have issues keeping their blood sugar levels at appropriate levels, and instead must visit internists and endocrinologists for medical assistance. There are as many as 4 different types of diabetes, and these doctors can help diagnose the specific type and help the patient with an appropriate treatment plan.

A person with chronic diabetes will exhibit signs of the disease if it is not being well controlled. These may include fluctuating blood sugar levels, frequent urination, a high level of thirst. These symptoms can make daily life difficult and can lead to dangerous fluctuations in the level of glucose in the blood, causing extreme highs and lows. A healthy diet for a diabetic means doing everything possible to control those glucose levels. This allows the patient to stay as healthy as possible, limiting the risks of blood sugar spikes and crashes.

Diabetics often must take medication or insulin in order to maintain their blood glucose levels appropriately. An endocrinologist can help provide you with the information you need about how to manage diabetes. If you’ve been struggling with any of the symptoms listed above, it may be time to have a complete evaluation.

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