1) It may be old news and is probably stating the obvious – but almost everyone has smartphones and more importantly, are used to doing everything on their phones. So why would they want to answer their study questions on their desktop or even worse, on paper?


2) In research studies, data is king. Anything that makes data collection easier, quality of data better and quantity of data larger is automatically making research study outcomes more robust.

Mobile apps, with their potential to target more users, mean more participants and hence more data. Collecting data via an application means automating data collection process and doing away with error-prone processes like transcribing data into the database.

And the biggest win, for a mobile app is the fact that data entry by the participant is minimized as a lot of the data can be obtained from device sensors, wearable devices and other data sources, a win-win for all.

3) Apple’s ResearchKit translates the entire study process for a participant into a mobile experience. It lets study participants get educated on the study, provide their consent and respond to study questions on their phone, using a ResearchKit based mobile app. It has set up a template for building mobile apps to handle the process of guiding a participant through all steps of the study

4) Android is not far behind with Android’s ResearchStack bringing the benefits of a mobile app research study experience to Android phones

So what is the caveat? The barrier to entry for using mobile apps in clinical trial based research studies is much higher. Any study that has a clinical or an intervention based component to it has much more stringent guidelines as well as processes that require manual interaction at various points in the study. But medical research studies that primarily gather data are prime candidates for mobile apps and Apple’s ResearchKit has demonstrated the effectiveness of using mobile apps in these scenarios. What started out as a trickle of research-based mobile apps is turning into a steady stream and will soon turn into a flood, as it becomes the de facto means of engaging participants in research studies

Watch this demo app to know how Apple ResearchKit framework can be used to build smartphone-based medical research Apps.

Image:Google images