What Healthcare Brands Should Know About Apple CareKit Apps

What Happened
Apple first unveiled CareKit, an open-source SDK for building apps that monitor and collect data from patients with chronic diseases or in post-surgery recovery, at its keynote event last month. Apple officially started rolling out CareKit on Thursday, and the first batch of apps integrated with CareKit are now here. They include two apps from Glow for new parents, Glow Nurture and Glow Baby, a diabetes-tracking app called One Drop, and an app for monitoring depression medications named Start.

What Healthcare Brands Need To Do
Following the well-received HealthKit, Apple’s CareKit should provide healthcare and pharmaceutical brands with another great channel to learn more about patients’ needs. Data collected from mobile and wearable devices is playing an increasingly crucial role in medical research and improving patient-care practices. Fitbit announced yesterday that it is teaming up with a leading research center in Boston to assist the data collection in a major cancer research project. For healthcare brands, the official rollout of CareKit means it is time to start working with developers to figure out how to integrate their products or services into those patient-facing CareKit apps and gain insights from the data they generate.


Source: TechCrunch

Pharma Brands Can Now Target Households With Mobile Ads

What Happened
Mobile ad firm 4INFO is teaming up with healthcare marketing analytics provider Crossix to help pharma brands more effectively deliver and measure their mobile ads. With this new partnership, healthcare marketers can now combine Crossix’s predictive data models and 4INFO’s ability to target mobile ads on a household level to identify and engage with relevant health consumers on their mobile devices.

Crossix developed the data models by using third party data such as over-the-counter drug purchases using loyalty cards, medical claims data indicating a doctor visit, and information from retail pharmacies showing prescription refills. No actual medical data that would identify an individual as having a specific disease or condition was used in the process, according to the company.

What Pharma Brands Need To Do
Due to HIPAA rules that prohibit the use of personal health information for media targeting purposes, pharma marketers have long struggled with the challenge of reaching their target audiences. However, since the data models developed by Crossix do not involve an individual’s actual health data for media targeting purposes, this partnership may have opened the doors for pharma brands to enjoy the ad targeting perks that others have been enjoying for a while. With the growth in mobile usage and advances in ad tech, pharma brands looking to improve their ad effectiveness can consider using the new ad products those two companies now offer.


Source: AdAge

Fast Forward: How You Can Use Apple’s ResearchKit For Better Clinical Data

Your guide to tech-driven changes in the media landscape by IPG Media Lab. A fast read for you and a forward for your clients and team.

  • Apple gives the go ahead to for-profit use of ResearchKit
  • Increase study population sizes by multiple orders of magnitude
  • Create an iOS app that taps into iPhone and Apple Watch sensors like step counts, calorie use, and heart rates to get started

What Happened
Apple’s ResearchKit is a new open-source software framework that helps the medical community gather research data from iPhone users. Although it was initially intended for, and has been widely used in universities and other non-profit medical institutions, now two pharmaceutical companies – GlaxoSmithKline and Purdue Pharma – are starting to integrate ResearchKit in a for-profit endeavor, according to Buzzfeed.

What This Means For Pharma Brands
In order to use ResearchKit, the first step is to develop an iOS app that taps into the biometric data that will help you understand people’s lives and drug efficacy. Surveying users with questions at least daily is encouraged. The data available continuously include daily step counts, calorie use, and heart rates. Future hardware generations are likely to add to these. The requirements to tap into the data are:

  • oversight by an independent ethics review board,
  • explicit disclosure of the data being gathered, and
  • getting a participant signature of informed consent.

Market Impact
Since Apple unveiled ResearchKit back in March, medical researchers have been using the tools to create apps to aid studies on treating various common diseases such as diabetes and asthma. A Stanford University cardiovascular study, one of the first uses of the program, had more than 11,000 participants sign up in less than 24 hours, a population size that the director of the study said would normally take a year and coordination across 50 facilities around the country.

As far as opening the platform to for-profit ventures, Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, told Buzzfeed, “We’re open to working with anybody that is going to make an impact on people’s health. So we’ve made ResearchKit open-source so Apple won’t even control who uses it. We will control what we put on our App Store, but we won’t control who uses it.” This opportunity doesn’t replace anything comparable. It opens a new world of possibility for the types of information and health data that can be learned with the sensors that hundreds of millions of people around the world carry with them in the waking lives. Its scale and usefulness will only expand as more and more sensors are added to Apple’s ecosystem.

For More Information
Please contact Engagement Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) at the IPG Media Lab if you would like more detail or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

For previous editions of Fast Forward, please visit ipglab.com. Please reply with any constructive criticism or feedback. We want these to be as useful as possible for you and your clients, and your feedback will help us immensely.

Header image courtesy of Apple’s ResearchKit Page