Apple ResearchKit is an open source software framework introduced by Apple that makes it easy for developers and researchers to create apps for medical research. This new framework takes advantage of the sensors and capabilities of iPhone to track movement, take measurements, and record data. Participants can perform activities and generate data wherever they are, providing more objective information. Customizable modules make it easy to create a study, while developers are encouraged to build new modules and share them with the community. Apple research kit consists of three customizable modules to address the most common elements across different types of clinical studies: surveys, informed consent, and active tasks. You can use these modules as they are, build upon them, and even create completely new modules of your own.

The ResearchKit survey module provides a pre-built user interface, letting you quickly build surveys simply by specifying the questions and types of answers. Our survey module is already localized, so all you need to do is localize your questions.

Informed Consent
Participants in medical research studies are often asked to share sensitive health information as part of their enrollment in a study. That’s why it’s critical to clarify exactly what they need to provide and who will have access to their information. ResearchKit provides visual consent templates that you can customize to explain the details of your study and obtain participant signatures.

Active Tasks
Some studies may need data beyond survey questions or the passive data collection capabilities of HealthKit and CoreMotion APIs. Active tasks invite users to perform activities under semi-controlled conditions, while iPhone sensors actively collect data.ResearchKit will initially include five Active Task modules developed in partnership with Stanford Medicine, University of Oxford, Sage Bionetworks, and University of Rochester. These modules fall into four general categories: motor activities, fitness, cognition, and voice. Depending on the specific task, data collected from these activities is returned as structured data or as files on disk. Your app will direct this data to the back-end of your choice for analysis.


CategoryTaskSensorData Collected
Motor ActivitiesGaitAccelerometer



Device motion


TappingTouch ScreenTouch activity

Accelerometer (Optional)

Fitness6-minute walkAccelerometerAccelerometer

Device motion



Heart rate

CognitionSpatial MemoryTouch ScreenTouch activity

Correct & Actual sequences

VoicePhonationMicrophoneUncompressed autio



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