Yale researchers tap Apple ResearchKit to study heart condition

In a quest to investigate cardiomyopathy, Yale School of Medicine researchers are launching a study using the Apple iPhone and ResearchKit platform to gain a deeper understanding of the heart muscle ailment.

The Yale Cardiomyopathy Index, led by E. Kevin Hall, M.D., and Michele Spencer-Manzon, M.D., will include participants ranging from ages 2 to 18, as well as parents of young patients, and involve specific questionnaires on how the heart ailment impacts various age groups, according to an announcement.

"Our study is the first to use ResearchKit to better understand these heart issues affecting children and young adults," Hall, assistant professor of pediatric cardiology and Director of the Pediatric Heart Failure Program at Yale School of Medicine, said in the announcement. "With a parent or guardian's permission and co-participation, children as young as 8 can provide assessments of how their cardiomyopathy, or their risk of developing a cardiomyopathy, affects their daily lives."

The study is one example of how the iPhone and ResearchKit are being used to cull through data and recruit participants for pilots and clinical trials. Another includes Sage Bionetworks, which is using the tool to find patients who will help in the discovery of ways to monitor and manage Parkinson's disease.

In the Yale Cardiomyopathy Index study, participants will share self-assessments with researchers by using the iPhone and ResearchKit to collect, track and analyze the data.

"Understanding how these conditions affect people's day-to-day lives is of significant importance in better treating patients," Hall said. "We believe this app will go a long way in helping us learn how to improve patients' quality of life."

For more information:
- read the announcement

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