Move over HealthKit: Why Apple’s ResearchKit is proving the real hit with doctors

“Just over a year ago, Apple launched HealthKit. Announced alongside iOS 8, HealthKit is a health and fitness-tracking platform that allows health data gathered by the iPhone or Watch – users’ weight, activity, heart rate, and more – to be collected in one place, and shared with apps, wearables, or even users’ doctors,” Jo Best reports for ZDNet. “HealthKit had a shaky start: the arrival of HealthKit-enabled apps was delayed by days due to a bug, and reviews of Apple’s own HealthKit app, Health, were lukewarm.”

“After these early wobbles, HealthKit looks to making a slow recovery. Apple CEO Tim Cook told an earnings call in April that around 1,000 apps HealthKit-enabled apps had been published to the App Store,” Best reports. “But it’s a lesser known companion service to HealthHit called ResearchKit that is also generating a lot of excitement among doctors right now. ResearchKit, launched in March, is a software framework that allows scientists and medical researchers to build apps that can tap into HealthKit to gather health data from iPhone users.”

“According to Cook, over 60,000 people have signed up to participate in trials running on the system in the first weeks after it launched – an unheard of number for clinical trials, especially ones that haven’t been widely publicised,” Best reports. “As an open source kit released for scientific research, ResearchKit may not be a massive moneyspinner for Apple, but early results are already proving its worth to the industry. If there’s a product that’s likely to establish Apple as a player in healthcare, it’s ResearchKit.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Contrary to this article’s tone, HealthKit is doing just fine.

Johns Hopkins epileptic seizure-symptom app is latest Apple medical research tool – October 16, 2015
Apple announces new ResearchKit studies for autism, epilepsy and melanoma – October 15, 2015
GlaxoSmithKline working on integrating Apple’s revolutionary ResearchKit into clinical trials – July 13, 2015
ResearchKit, Apple’s medical data experiment, explained – May 20, 2015
Apple announces ResearchKit available today to medical researchers – April 14, 2015
Why Apple’s ResearchKit signals a golden age for health care – March 28, 2015
ResearchKit: The inside story of how Apple’s revolutionary medical research platform was born – March 19, 2015
Apple’s open source ResearchKit will change the world for the better – March 9, 2015
Apple debuts ResearchKit, giving medical researchers the tools to revolutionize medical studies – March 9, 2015


  1. And PLEASE start distinguishing between RESEARCHERS / SCIENTISTS and MEDICAL DOCTORS!

    The first group studies for years before spending 3-5 more years on getting a PhD, and then work 80+ hours per week in the lab on 2 or 3 year contracts without job security but being paid only for 40 hours (no overtime payments!) and then become taxi drivers at 40 because they can’t get another Post-Doc position …

    The second group studies for years, then most often does a THREE WEEK literature search and report to get their MD, start at a hospital underpaid but quickly move up to earn 3-4 times what Scientists earn and moan all the time that they are underpaid while enjoying a rather secure job, their family, and the occassional round of golf.

    And yes, a lot of my friends are MDs and Scientists … and sadly I’m not exaggerating …

  2. Doctors don’t do Science, they do opinion, and a bit of stamp collecting. (I worked with them for years in Heart Research in the 1990s; it’s a whole different skill set).

  3. Microsoft will be bragging about how the Band 2 has far more sensors than AppleWatch does and costs a lot less. Wall Street will agree. It’s always about which product has the most or better specs. Although everybody and their mothers were criticizing AppleWatch’s supposedly poor sales numbers, we’ll probably never know how many Microsoft Bands were sold and probably no one considers it relevant.

    1. Good point and now we will all wait to see how this develops. Apple made this health stuff Open Source… let’s see who makes it work better for the masses and with what. 😉

  4. The health app could sure use an update to allow users to view data by customized time periods. Have you ever searched through your history of the TONS of data points stored. It’s unusable unless you have program to read and summarized the data – which means you have to share personal health data and hope the programmer didn’t put a back door in their program so they could get your data.

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