A few days after Buzzfeed revealed that Purdue Pharma was investigating the use of Apple’s ResearchKit platform to assist in developing new drugs, the piece has been updated to reveal that GlaxoSmithKline has similar plans.
GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s largest drug developers, told BuzzFeed News it is “currently working on integrating (ResearchKit) into clinical trials and planning to start in coming months.”
While some had assumed that ResearchKit would be used to assist only with not-for-profit research, Apple said that the company is willing to make the platform available to “anybody that is going to make an impact on people’s health” …
Following the introduction of ResearchKit at this month’s Apple event, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Bud Tribble held a question and answer session with Apple employees regarding the new initiative, according to a source who provided a transcript of the conversation. Williams, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations, is the top executive in charge of Apple’s health engineering initiatives, including the Apple Watch, HealthKit, ResearchKit, and fitness software. Tribble is a Software Engineering Vice President with a medical background as a doctor, and he organized many of the partnerships for both HealthKit and ResearchKit…
We’ve already seen the potential of Apple’s ResearchKit platform to sign up large numbers of participants to medical studies in an incredibly short time, but a reported conversation between the founder of an open science non-profit and an Apple VP suggests that the potential goes far beyond this.
Fusion, in an extensive profile, reports that Apple may be intending to collect anonymised health data in a central database accessible to medical researchers around the world, enabling each to benefit from that shared data to forward their own studies. The vision was initially put forward at a conference back in September, long before ResearchKit was announced, by Stephen Friend, the founder of Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit that champions open science and data sharing.
“Imagine ten trials, several thousand patients. Here you have genetic information, and you have what drugs they took, how they did. Put that up in the cloud, and you have a place where people can go and query it, [where] they can make discoveries.” In this scenario, Friend said, patients would be able to control who could access their information, and for which purposes. But their health data would be effectively open-sourced.
Apple reportedly took an immediate interest in the idea …