With its launch, Apple’s ResearchKit has achieved some impressive milestones:
More than 100,000 people signed up to take participation in ResearchKit studies
Companies like Quintiles and Medidata gave some enhancements
Researchers released 16 apps, 5 during and 11 after it's launch
ResearchStack introduced an Android version of ResearchKit
Many big pharma companies began exploring the use of ResearchKit
With these notable milestones more intriguing fact is how ResearchKit is changing clinical research.
Here we mention 5 big changes that ResearchKit is bringing to clinical research:
1. Easy Recruitment, Hard Retention
ResearchKit could help overcome one of the biggest challenges in recruitment of clinical research participants. You can't deny that ResearchKit offers unique recruitment opportunity.
iPhone being ubiquitous enabled us to recruit in a way that would match a far more expensive, national clinical study done in the conventional manner.
But sometimes solving one problem creates another.
Now participant retention has become more of a challenge for ResearchKit apps. Like with any app, there’s fast adoption and decay in use. This decay has led to retention problems for apps like Share the Journey, which studies breast cancer treatment symptoms.
With the help of patient's feedback and advocacy groups, it's learned that in order to better engage and retain patients, the need to reduce complexity of language and tasks in the app is apparent.
2. Participatory Research
The conventional research model is not participatory. Many participants are now demanding more involvement. Even well-intentioned researchers can struggle with conventional research model more participatory.
Participatory research can aid with retention. People give more value on things they helped to create, a phenomenon known as the Ikea Effect. And when participants help to tailor the research, it becomes uniquely customized to their needs and what they value.
3. Convergence of Research and Care
Since information does not flow easily between research and care, opportunities are missed to create new knowledge.
ResearchKit can provide benefits similar to those provided by the Learning Health System. One of the great qualities of ResearchKit is that it centralizes the conduct of research. By centralizing research and care within an app, a seamless and rapid continuously learning loop can be created, similar to that visualized for the Learning Health System. Such a combination would be a win for medical advancement and all of the people who benefit from it.
4. A Learning Research System
Researchers don’t have a good option to improve how they caeey their research. Researchers can’t easily learn from each other, and popular innovation models have limited value in research.
ResearchKit can help researchers get pretty good at research.
Besides improving upon their methods, there can be diversification of researches, resulting in more customised research designs. A comparison for the first and second generation of ResearchKit apps, more diverse research methods are found in the second.
5. Multi-Dimensional Health Insights
Clinical researchers have access to limited data, which means limited view of health and disease. The types of data are often the most traditional ones, not necessarily the most useful ones. Moreover the collected data is only intermittent, like during a visit to the research site.
ResearchKit can collect new data at more regular intervals, offering a far better view of health and disease. One of the great success for ResearchKit is that multi-dimensional data will yield multi-dimensional health and disease insights.