Johns Hopkins taps into Apple ResearchKit, device sensors for epilepsy study

Johns Hopkins University is using Apple's ResearchKit, as well as the company's Watch and iPhone sensor technology, to develop a better method for predicting epileptic seizures and gain in-depth insight on seizure impact to the human body.

In a study conducted with Thread Research, the school will use custom apps and Apple devices for gathering heart rate, activity and other biometric data and measurements during a seizure incident. The apps are scheduled to be live Sept. 18 and currently are in beta testing, according to an Apple Insider article.

Researchers are hoping, due to the consumer response to the Watch, for a large study group, and believe the security features of Apple's healthcare framework also will drive study participation, according to the article.

Data security has long been cited as a major obstacle in consumer use of mHealth apps and devices, though recent reports indicate the concern is ebbing among U.S. smartphone users.

Suzanne Widup, a senior analyst with Verizon, in June noted that providers and payers are being advised to put security front-and-center before allowing data exchange from patient and consumer devices. Device manufacturers must "get on-board, putting security into their products from Day 1," too, she said.

Research Kit, which launched this past spring, was warmly received by the medical and healthcare provider communities.

One of the first projects to use the device is a Stanford University heart-related study involving more than 10,000 participants.

The Apple Insider report  reveals the epileptic study is the second time Thread Research is using ResearchKit. The first was an investigation into LGBTQ health issues conducted with the University of California.

For more information:
- read the Apple Insider article