Boston Children's Hospital Rolled out their new Hep-C Tracker Program and iApp that Relies on ResearchKit Exclusively
On April 14, 2015, Apple announced ResearchKit. Apple's software framework designed for medical and health research helps doctors, scientists and other researchers gather data more frequently and accurately using the iPhone. One of the first institutions to be involved with ResearchKit was Boston Children's Hospital. Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, of the Boston Children's Hospital Informatics Program stated at the time that "Because of the ubiquity of iPhone and the elegant implementation of consent, survey and instrumented data collection, ResearchKit has enormous promise for leading the transformation of how we engage patients in research. Now that we have access to the ResearchKit framework, our team can start customizing the initial modules and even design new ones for our particular study."
News out of Boston this week covered the new Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children's Hospital regarding their study on hepatitis C. The study relies exclusively on Apple's ResearchKit and a custom-designed iPhone app. This new study, called C Tracker, will give researchers insight into patients' daily activity, monitor symptoms and assess the efficacy of treatments as the video below explains.
Dr. Ken Mandl, director of CHIP and principal investigator of C Tracker, said in a press statement that "By and large, the data we have now about hepatitis C treatments come from traditional clinical trials. With C Tracker, we can listen to the patient voice to learn how people live with hepatitis in the real world."
The study includes a free iOS app, also called C Tracker (that you get from the App Store), and a platform called C3-PRO, which stands for Consent, Contact and Community framework for Patient-Reported Outcomes, to connect the hospital to patient data via ResearchKit. C3-PRO is compatible with any ResearchKit app, not just C-Tracker, according to the hospital.
Mandl said that the app will turn "research participation into a patient-driven, democratic endeavor," largely due to its ResearchKit compatibility.