What it is: WebMD has relaunched its Pregnancy app for the iPhone, and has integrated Apple’s ResearchKit into the app to understand healthy pregnancies and positive pregnancy outcomes.
It’s easy to look at Android smartphones and spot all sorts of features that the iPhone lacks. Yet all of those features are hardware features that can be easily duplicated such as edge to edge screen displays or faster processors. What’s really important with any smartphone is the software that runs it, and that’s where Android can’t always keep up.
One major software framework in iOS is ResearchKit, which allows medical researchers to track and store health data from people using an iPhone or Apple Watch. By capturing data from volunteers all over the world, ResearchKit makes it possible to gather more data faster than ever before.
Now WebMD is using ResearchKit to study pregnancy such as blood pressure and weight change, as well as childbirth location. Biometric data captured includes sleep totals, and number of steps taken per day. By using people’s existing iPhones or Apple Watches, ResearchKit makes it easy for anyone to participate in medical research. Likewise by making it easy to gather health data from a diverse range of volunteers, ResearchKit makes it easy for medical researchers to test theories and analyze data to improve knowledge about health faster than ever before.
The next time medical research helps save your life or the life of someone close to you, you may have ResearchKit and Apple to thank. If you want to participate in a medical research study, or initiate one, you’ll need to rely on an Apple product. This software difference alone will insure that iOS will remain relevant no matter how many Android devices rivals flood into the market.
ResearchKit is a crucial software tool that not only differentiates Apple products from rivals, but also provides a genuine advantage that helps everybody. ResearchKit might not be a major feature that can convince you to buy an iPhone, but it’s a major feature that will insure the iPhone will never fall behind Android in the market place among medical researchers and anyone interested in better health.