ResearchKit & HealthKit: Accelerating Real Time & Real Life Discovery in Health Care


Apple’s recent announcement about ResearchKit, along with HealthKit has sparked enormous excitement and conversations about the potential to accelerate the reach, velocity, efficiency, richness, and impact of research on a wide range of medical conditions. The first four apps built on the platform have already received thousands of applicants within the first few days, according to Bloomberg News. The ability to easily reach people with medical conditions anywhere on the planet and to readily collect and integrate real time and real life biometric and life experience data can and will obviously yield rich data sets as a source for sense-making, hypotheses testing, and serendipitous discovery in health care.  

How do we from data to insight & action? We need great discovery tools.

But how will we be able to quickly and easily make sense and gain actionable insight from this rich, varied, voluminous, complex, and rapidly changing data? This is not just of matter of using traditional hypothesis testing and statistical analysis tools and techniques. It’s about enabling people to explore and “mine” big and little data for unexpected patterns and connections between what people are doing, where they are, what’s happening in their bodies, their subjective experiences, treatment interventions, and outcome measures. It’s about looking for connections, patterns, and actionable treatment insights that apply to groups of people as well as “personalized” medical insights that apply only to specific individuals.  It’s about enabling people to quickly and easily explore complex data to ask and answer unanticipated cascading questions when investigating pathways to illness, health, and wellness.

At this point, the full scope and out of the box capabilities of the ResearchKit are unclear – but the possibilities we’re envisioning are dizzying. Whatever we learn once it’s released, the power of the rich data that it will enable, will hinge largely on the availability and integration of great sense-making and discovery tools that enable us to easily and quickly ask and answer new questions by interactively exploring data of unprecedented volume, velocity, variety, and richness.   

Eager to see what discovery tools Apple has up it’s ResearchKit sleeve….and we’re eager to build on this foundation.


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