Researchers launch ResearchKit app to study relationship between lifestyle and Alzheimer's

By Aditi Pai
01:14 pm
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A team of researchers has teamed up with BrainBaseline, which helps companies develop and run custom cognitive studies, to launch a study, called Mind Share, using Apple's ResearchKit framework.

Mind Share study researchers are from a number of universities, including the University of Nebraska, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt, Northeastern, and Wake Forest University.

Mind Share aims to assess how certain factors, like lifestyle, medical history, and behavior affect cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. The app will use gather user data using BrainBaseline questionnaires to track cognitive function. Every time users take a cognitive test, data from the test will show up on their dashboard that also tells them how well they scored against others taking the same test. Over time, users are able to track their progress in the app.

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Eventually, researchers hope to use data from the study to create a screening tools for people with Alzheimer’s. 

The study is also open to people who have not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia as well as people who have difficulty reading or writing in english.

Since Apple first launched ResearchKit in March 2014, research institutions, universities, and companies have launched about 20 studies on the platform.

Last month, Boston Children's Hospital launched its second Apple ResearchKit study, Feverprints. Rather than focus on a particular disease, Feverprints aims to study fevers in general and challenge centuries-old assumptions about what's normal.

That same week, Harvard University partnered with Sage Bionetworks to launch TeamStudy, a ResearchKit app that aims to gather data from former NFL players as well as the general public to study and better understand the impact playing football has on professional athletes.

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