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“iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health.With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research,” said Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations, told the crowd at Spring Forward Event, 2015.
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought” –Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Well, unlike market research carried out to come up with an innovative solution to consumers trivial needs/desires, medical research is carried out to come up with a medical solution to problems affecting living organisms within each participating research sample as well as worldover human beings in general. The plain fact that the test participants include me, you and our personal medical data and reports, in itself rings “CAUTION” alarms over the idea of participating in a medical research. Adhering to these subconscious danger alarms we smartly recline from participating and sharing our personal medical data, in order to avoid misuse of the same. But it’s time we wake up to our consciousness and ask ourselves “ Am I calling in danger for myself or contributing towards a healthy tomorrow by participating in a medical research?”. You will hear a still small voice happily thank God saying “I’M A CONTRIBUTOR TOWARDS A HEALTHY TOMORROW”.
We don’t realise that our subconscious danger alarms is actually posing great danger for medical researchers. Medical researchers worldover face few vital problems that slowdown or at times completely stop their research works. These problems mainly include i) Lack of required participation/adequate samples, ii) less access to required quantity of quality data, iii) infrequency in data acquisition and iv)one-way communications. Apple Inc. rightly understood these problems and willingly blend their technical specialisation with the medical research specifications and bring forth the “Research Kit”.However, Will this Research Kit meet all medical research concerns without any ethical or practical concerns?
Research Kit – a Practical Reality or a Technical Fantasy in the name of Medical Aid in a Practical World ?
Research Kit theoretically sounds very promising platform to aid the medical researchers and to break the stereotyped one-size-fits all medical approach. But we desire that you do not go by the hype of it rather critically analyse to realize for yourselves whether this research kit is a Practical Reality or a Technical Fantasy? Besides threats stemming out of privacy concerns or hacking problems, the following few concerns are also yet to be explained by Apple:
At the end of it all if we observe and not judge, Apple has initiated in all good sense, to innovatively and smartly help Researchers by developing such a platform. Besides,
Research Kit as an open source platform will be provided from next month.
Just like every coin has two sides, its up to each Medical Institution and each iPhone users to decide how they will develop their app and whether they want to participate via iPhone respectively. Research Kit definitely is a great idea and one with great scope to be improved upon. Like medical researchers hope the best out of this, being a typical person qualified in Marketing I hope to see iPhones being marketed at affordable prices and cover more participants by making available iOS to more and more people. Well it would be the least I can hope and maybe the best Apple could think forward on to enhance their aid to medical research.