The iPhone is changing and it is possibly saving lives in a way you never thought possible. Today, it has been actively working with doctors and other medical professionals to learn more about diseases like Parkinson’s, asthma and melanoma. In fact, various medical tests are now being done with the help of an iPhone.
What makes this possible is Apple’s ResearchKit and CareKit. ResearchKit allows developers to create apps able to aid in medical research. This is especially helpful when doctors and medical professionals are out in the field. On the other hand, the CareKit is described as a framework developers can use to build apps that help people monitor and improve their health.
One of the things medical experts love about ResearchKit is that it allows you to conduct studies remotely with the use of smartphones. In fact, you can easily enroll participants in the study so you can get started with data collection right away.
Researchers conduct asthma study using the iPhone.
A study was recently conducted on the feasibility of the Asthma Mobile Health Study by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. This is a critical issue, considering that half of the 25 million Americans with asthma lack optimal asthma control. This included the recruitment, consent and enrollment of participants remotely using a smartphone. According to a report by Nature, as much as 7,593 were eligible for the study.
To conduct the study, participants answered intake surveys. Questions included their asthma history for over four days after enrollment. Aside from this, participants answered a series of daily asthma surveys. Here, they logged presumed triggers, symptoms and medication adherence throughout the study. The researchers conducted the study for six months. In the end, they collected 79,297 daily surveys and 10,969 weekly surveys.
Following the study, researchers found that the three top asthma triggers are animals, pollen and upper respiratory tract infection. Some asthma patients are also found to be sensitive to sudden air quality changes brought about by environmental events such as wildfire. The results had some similarities with the CDC Asthma Surveillance Data.
iPhone medical help goes beyond asthma.
On the other hand, there are other apps made with ResearchKit currently studying other conditions. For starters, there is the mPower app launched in 2015 by the University of Rochester and Sage Bionetworks. With more than 10,000 participants, it’s the largest study of its kind so far.
On the other hand, there’s the Autism & Beyond app. Developed by Duke University and the University of Cape Town, the app screens a child using the HD camera in the iPhone to analyze emotional reactions to videos using facial recognition algorithms.
On the other hand, Johns Hopkins University has developed the EpiWatch. Using the Apple Watch, the app allows patients to track the onset and duration of their seizures. The moment they sense an impending seizure, the participant can tap on the Apple Watch to activate the heart rate sensor and accelerometer. At the same time, a designated family member or caregiver is alerted. Indeed, an iPhone can help improve lives, even save them.
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