Research Kit is a software framework made specifically for medical research, it lets researchers easily create apps.
One ResearchKit will let anyone contribute to Parkinson's research by doing tapping tests that can measure hand tremors, or saying "ah" into the microphone. Also gait and balance tests.
This is a big deal. Consumer electronics companies getting into medical stuff is a huge deal in general, full of potential and possible peril.
Mass General Hospital has a glucose app; Stanford and the University of Hartford have a heart health one; Mount Sinai and Weill Cornell have an asthma one.
Wouldn't it be neat if ResearchKit built many of its tests--tapping, voice, etc--into App Store games? What if Angry Birds was gathering health data?
Dana-Farber and others are doing a breast cancer app.
Users decide what programs they participate in; Apple doesn't see the data.
No one saw this coming, right?
Samsung has also been working with medical institutions, although it doesn't have anything directly comparable to this.
"Apple will not see your data" is one of Apple's biggest differentiators between them and basically every other tech company (like Google) in the world right now. I wonder if they can/will communicate that message more overtly to the average consumer.
Google is very interested in medical stuff too. Google being involved in collecting this sort of data might be a tough sell.