Researchers using smartphones to collect data on Parkinson's, asthma - (CTV News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • More than 75 000 people have enrolled in health trials that use iPhone apps, CTV News reported Monday.
  • A smartphone "is a great platform for research," said Michael McConnell, a Stanford University cardiologist, who's using an app to study heart disease, adding "it's one thing that people have with them every day."
  • Apple's HealthKit tracks iPhone owners' health statistics and exercise habits, and Senior Vice-President Jeff Williams said Apple wants to help researchers by creating additional software for more specialised apps.
  • The ResearchKit programme was launched in March with five apps to investigate Parkinson's disease, asthma, heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer.
  • Ray Dorsey, who's leading the Parkinson's disease app study called mPower, said the study's test, which measures the speed at which participants tap their fingers in a particular sequence on the iPhone's touchscreen, is more objective than a process still used in clinics, where doctors watch patients tap their fingers and assign a numerical score.
  • Meanwhile, Eric Schadt, a genomics professor who's using an iPhone app to study asthma, said "diseases like asthma are very complicated. They're not caused by a single gene or environmental influence," adding "the only hope you have of really going further in resolving this disease is for researchers to get to more people."

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