Fascinating story by Daniela Hernandez on the origins of ResearchKit. I especially found this bit interesting:
After Friend’s talk, [Apple’s Vice President for medical technologies, Mike] O’Reilly approached the doctor, and, in typical tight-lipped Apple fashion, said: “I can’t tell you where I work, and I can’t tell you what I do, but I need to talk to you,” Friend recalls. Friend was intrigued, and agreed to meet for coffee[…]
Friend immediately grasped the potential benefits of collecting health data at Apple’s scale. In the wake of the MedX meeting with O’Reilly, he made frequent trips to Cupertino and other cities to meet with scientists, engineers and quantified-self geeks. During one such trip, Friend helped organize a DARPA-funded workshop on how biosensors might help scientists understand Parkinson’s disease, a condition that would turn out to be the focus of one of ResearchKit’s five debut apps.
If you’re even the least bit interested in ResearchKit I suggest you read this piece. It’s the most well written one I’ve read about the topic.
Apple’s foray into medical research might be the most important decision they’ve made in decades. There isn’t much they could do that would have such a positive impact on people’s lives like ResearchKit could. And, I’m excited for the potential medical breakthroughs it might contribute to.