The MIT Technology Review shed light on the progress of Apple in the field of medical research. The tech giant is now collaborating with scientists to provide them an extensive database of DNA for medical research from iPhone users.
Apple launched ResearchKit in March and in a very short duration of time, the five initial apps were receiving unexpectedly high contributions. The apps allow users to collect information about their health and send it to researchers, who then use it in medical studies. A remarkable 11,000 people signed up in less than 24 hours for the heart health study, through one of the five apps.
Researchers will be sending out sample collectors and analysing the material collected. So Apple won’t be a part of the study itself but will be the prime source of DNA material through its users for its academic partners.
There has been some concern over the bias brought in medical studies from using an increasing amount of people who use iPhones. Also, reservations are seen in believing the information shared by the easily available subjects. However, this new easy access is very enticing to researchers not just because of the ease, but because of the increased volume of data.
As the global struggle to get to the root of disease and its causes continues, Apple’s move will set in right in the middle of said struggle. Google and the US government are already attempting to conduct large scale genetic ventures in hope of establishing huge genetic databases. Scientists believe it is only through these databases that they’ll be able to get to the roots of disease.