One area that Apple has already made a considerable dent in is research. ResearchKit was released in 2015 and a considerable number of studies ranging from autism to epilepsy are using it.
The benefits of ResearchKit are clear – it uses existing hardware, sensors, and software that are already in the pockets of millions of people. This makes recruiting, scaling, and monitoring much easier.
The part that surprised me the most while doing this was how willing people were to donate their data for the good of research. Take mPower for example, a Parkinson’s study that was early to launch on ResearchKit.
First of all, reaching a 13,000 person study is no joke. For reference, The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study required ~$800 to recruit each participant to Parkinson’s trials in 2010, and is tracking fewer than 1,000 people.
But what was surprising is that 75% of the people who participated in the study chose to donate their data to scientists outside of the study. Considering a large part of the prevailing healthcare narrative is how protective people are of their health data, this suggests that people may be more altruistic than previously believed.
The full analysis looks at how Apple is attacking the full vertical of health, from devices, to software, to applications, and even potentially services like telemedicine.
We’re also going to be doing a research briefing on the topic on 10/3 where we dive deeper and also answer questions you might have. Sign up here.
An AI edge
As AI becomes table stakes in healthcare and disease diagnostics/management becomes a software problem – incumbents will have to find ways to adapt.
It seems to be en vogue to call digital health overhyped or a bubble. But considering healthcare costs continue to go up and continues to be a problem – there still have to be open opportunities in the space.
So I want to hear from you – what areas of healthcare/digital health excite you the most right now? We might round up the answers for a future newsletter.