Apple Expands HealthKit with ResearchKit for iOS

Apple unveils ResearchKit for iOSApple is expanding HealthKit for iOS 8 with a new platform called ResearchKit as a way to collect medical data when patients are outside of their doctor's office. Apple's Jeff Williams said the platform will make it possible for health care professionals to get up to date and accurate patient data in near real time instead of waiting weeks or months between doctor visits.

Mr. Williams said early ResearchKit work has led to apps that track Parkinson's disease, asthma, diabetes, breast cancer research, and more. He added that ResearchKit will be an open source platform, so anyone can develop tracking apps instead of limiting it to just Apple and hand picked partners.

Apple said medical research methods haven't changed in years, but ResearchKit will make it possible for doctors and scientists to gather data in new ways through iPhone and Apple Watch. Thanks to the iPhone's GPS, for example, doctors will be able to track pathogen locations and growth more accurately and much faster.

Apple's "Spring forward" event is still underway, so be sure to follow along with The Mac Observer's live coverage for all of today's news and surprises.