Apple Inc. recently announced the release of ResearchKit, an open-source software framework that is expected to enhance medical research. Apple claims its product enables everyone to take part in research that will advance medical knowledge and that it is “taking research out of the lab and into the real world.”
Mobile health technology, including wearable sensors and mobile applications, has been available for some time. Companies have been developing mobile medical applications (MMAs) for so long that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already established their classifications and safety-monitoring rules and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established rules and the frequency band for use with wireless body sensors. While it appears that Apple actually was lagging behind, it is encouraging that it finally joined the trend.
In January 2015 engineers from the Creativity Lab at Samsung Electronics introduced a prototype of a smartphone application and device called the Early Detection Sensor & Algorithm Package (EDSAP) as a stroke-detection tool. After two years of development, they are close to delivering the product. EDSAP’s sensors, which are applied to the head via a headset, collect electrical waves caused by brain activity and wirelessly transfer the information to a smartphone application that analyzes the data and determines the threat of stroke. The developers hope the data can provide additional health information such as stress levels, anxiety and quality of sleep.