Android version of Apple's ResearchKit in the works

An Android counterpart to Apple's ResearchKit, called ResearchStack, is under development, supported by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, iMedicalApps reports.

ResearchKit is an open source framework that lets iPhone users participate in medical trials and studies through health data-sharing capabilities. It gives medical researchers the ability to cull data through Apple's HealthKit platform and recruit participants for pilots and clinical trials.

A team from Cornell Tech, the nonprofit group Open mHealth, and Android development firm Touchlab aim to create a framework on which research apps of all kinds can be built for Android devices. Conspicuously absent from the efforts, according to the article, however, is Android creator Google.

"Though the correspondence of features between the two SDKs [software development kits] isn't one-to-one, the two SDKs will offer enough shared functionality and a common framework and naming scheme to greatly speed up adaptation of ResearchKit apps to Android (and ResearchStack apps to iOS)," the ResearchStack team notes on its website.

A public beta version is expected to be available in January.

Thousands signed up to participate in ResearchKit projects in the week after it was announced in March. Duke, Johns Hopkins and Oregon Health & Science University have collaborative projects under way to use ResearchKit in studying autism, melanoma and epilepsy.

Both iOS and Android are open source, which Ida Sim, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says is essential to establishing data standards to eliminate ambiguity and improved integration of data streams from the various mHealth devices and apps.

To learn more:
- read the iMedicalApps article
- check out the ResearchStack website