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Apple ResearchKit is an app ecosystem for medical research

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Apple ResearchKit is an app ecosystem for medical research

Apple HealthKit isn't the company's only attempt to improve the health of its users. It's pulled back the curtain on ResearchKit, an app ecosystem specifically for medical scientists.

It allows the scientists to outsource their research to apps and take advantage of the 700 million iPhones Apple has sold.

The devices will effectively become diagnostic tools, allowing scientists to conduct large-scale medical research using apps and smartphones.

Researchers can easily create apps using ResearchKit. The tool is completely open source, so anyone can make apps for the platform.

Five apps are available already. One of them, mPower, helps research Parkinson's disease.

Developed in partnership with the University of Rochester, it works by the user tapping the screen to evaluate how badly their hand is shaking. The accelerometer and gyroscope also measure gait and balance.

Other apps available at launch include Asthma Help, Diabetes GlucoSuccess, MyHeart Counts and Share the Journey for researching breast cancer.

All health metrics will be kept completely secure, Apple says, stressing that it won't see your data or sell it on for marketing purposes.

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