Apple has announced that its ResearchKit framework is being used for new research studies on autism, epilepsy, and melanoma, allowing subjects to voluntarily opt-in to share data collected through the iOS Health app to contribute to these studies. An autism study being run by Duke University, Duke Medicine and other partners such as Peking University in China is leveraging the iPhone’s front-facing camera to detect signs of developmental issues at a younger age than previously believed possible, using “novel emotion detection algorithms” to measure a child’s reaction to videos shown on the iPhone. In another area, Johns Hopkins has developed a new EpiWatch app designed to test whether the Apple Watch can be used to detect the onset and duration of epileptic seizures; the initial phase of the study has patients triggering a one-touch complication on the Apple Watch face to capture accelerometer and heart rate data to attempt to built a digital signature of a seizure and send an alert to a loved one. Participants will also be able to track medication adherence, screen for side effects, and compare their condition with others in the study. In a third new study, Oregon Health & Science University is looking to use digital images taken on an iPhone to gain more information about mole growth and melanoma risks, with the aim of helping people to better manage their skin health.
Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.