“GlaxoSmithKline Plc has started a rheumatoid arthritis study using Apple Inc.’s ResearchKit, marking the first time a drugmaker has used the health system for the iPhone to conduct clinical research,” Caroline Chen and Alex Webb report for Bloomberg. “”

“Glaxo wants to record the mobility of 300 participants over three months and will also ask the patients to input both physical and emotional symptoms, such as pain and mood,” Chen and Webb report. “The success of the study could help determine the pharmaceutical industry’s future appetite for using Apple’s products to conduct research. Drugmakers have to balance the lower costs of using the app with their ability to gather accurate, reliable data. Risks include that test subjects will tire of entering information into the app, and, given the iPhone’s $399 [sic] starting price, the sample may be skewed toward wealthier demographics.”

“For Apple, ResearchKit is a building block of its efforts to bolster its credentials as a provider of health technology,” Chen and Webb report. “The Cupertino, California-based company is increasingly promoting its Apple Watch as a health and fitness accessory — in addition to a built-in pedometer, the device can measure heart rate — and has been quietly hiring a team of engineers and scientists with a background in health care. Apple sold 13.9 million watches last year, according to IDC.”

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