Yesterday, Steve Lohr of The New York Times Bits Blog profiled Network member Deborah Estrin and her work bringing the type of small data research capabilities found in Apple iPhones to the Android ecosystem, through the newly announced ResearchStack initiative [Note: the ResearchStack code is available on GitHub].
"Shortly after Apple introduced ResearchKit, Ms. Estrin, who is also a professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College, started trying to bring similar capability to the other major smartphone software platform, Google’s Android. She coordinated the work on a new initiative, ResearchStack, announced on Thursday.
The new software framework will be similar to ResearchKit, which is open source and designed as modular building blocks. The ResearchStack design work is being led by Cornell Tech; Touch Lab, an Android developer; and Open mHealth, a nonprofit start-up focused on software for sharing health data. ResearchStack is being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
ResearchStack is intended to work smoothly with research projects underway that use Apple’s ResearchKit. 'Researchers can create a study that is independent of what smartphone is used, and they won’t have to start from scratch,' said Ms. Estrin, who is also co-founder of Open mHealth.
One of the current projects ResearchStack will soon support is Mole Mapper, an app for a melanoma study developed by the Oregon Health and Science University. The melanoma study involves people taking smartphone pictures of moles at regular intervals to track their growth, with the goal of creating detection algorithms and helping people manage the health of their skin."