ReasearchKit, the innovation

March 16, 2015 13:59 EST • Alexandre Vallières-Lagacé • 2 minute read

Yes, the event was for the  Watch and MacBook, but one piece that was quite interesting and can have huge repercussion in the future is the new ResearchKit.

Our older daughter was lucky enough to go to an English only daycare and by the age of 5 she was completely bilingual. Sadly, after that daycare she lost all of her English not being exposed as much. We participated in a language study for kids being exposed to more than one language. It involve a few visits to the McGill university early Saturday morning to have her pass tests, reading and listening tests. As much as I want to help out the science, it was a real pain, but we went with the smile as the students there were trying their best to make things easy for the parents while the kids where being tested.

How many were we on that research? A few hundreds at first, but since it was on the course of more than 5-6 years, many other parents dropped out. I do not know how badly it was, but surely it had a tremendous impact. Imagine now doing the same research from your home, with only your iPhone (or iPad) and 20-30 minutes of your time. When you want, when you feel like it.

No wonder more than 10,000 applications were received for the Stanford medical trial after only a few days! This is amazing and will greatly help researchers! This is really a great little thing Apple did there!


Open Source? Hopefully it will not be open source like Facetime is (remember it was announced as so?). Now there is another challenge here as the data collected via microphone and other sensor will need to be calibrated per devices if we ever, say, find ResearchKit on the Google Play Store. I’m not sure the ResearchKit app itself will be open source, but it’s APIs will probably be so that researchers can crunch the data to their needs.

This is the part that will be so much more powerful than before. Especially if Apple permits data exchange between research programs and HealthKit. Imagine all the data scientists will now be able to work with!

Great times ahead for science! Now when, does it come to Canada so I can participate??