Apple’s ResearchKit once again has made news with the announcement by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and LifeMap Solutions that it will expand the availability of the free Asthma Health App to the United Kingdom and Ireland. The medical app enables individuals to participate in a large scale study by using their iPhones. It’s designed to improve patient education and self-monitoring and encourage adherence to treatment protocols. The study itself tracks symptom patterns and potential asthma triggers in an attempt to personalize treatment.
The Asthma Researchkit app lets clinicians gain access to data from HealthKit, which in turn lets them monitor patients’ exercise activities, including walking and running distance, and tap into the GPS sensors on their iPhones. That access provides access to local air quality readings. And if the patient has a third party device linked to the phone that monitors inhaler use, researchers can also fold that data into their project.
LifeMap Solutions, Mt Sinai’s partner in this venture, explained that the expanded version of the Asthma Health app that will be available in Europe introduces enhanced air quality readings from BreezoMeter. LifeMap CEO Corey Bridges says this new feature is “an intuitive map of real-time data to help users and providers identify environmental triggers.”
According to Eric Schadt, PhD, a professor at the medical school: “Over the past year in the United States, we recruited and enrolled over 8,600 research participants in our study in one of the largest real-world epidemiological studies of asthma. Now we’re going global by adding the UK and Ireland to our clinical research platform, to collect an unprecedented breadth and depth of ‘real world’ health data and create a more holistic view of individuals and the disease on a population level.”