Apple Hires Duke University’s HealthKit and ResearchKit Pioneer

Dr. Ricky Bloomfield, the Director of Mobile Strategy at Duke University, is leading his position to join Apple’s health team, MobiHealth News is reporting. Bloomfield, who has been on the forefront of implementing both HealthKit and ResearchKit, made Duke one of the first hospitals to integrate with Apple’s health-focused platforms, and to use them to incorporate patient-generated health data into its EHR.

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Bloomfield used the HealthKit to track blood pressure and weight for patients with cancer and heart conditions at Duke. ResearchKit, Apple’s research-focused follow-up to HealthKit, also proved to be an area of interest for Bloomfield. He also helped create Duke’s Autism Beyond, a ResearchKit study designed to increase knowledge about how autism manifests in children.

Autism and Beyond includes a number of short surveys for parents and three videos for children to watch. As the kids watch the videos, which are based on the same kind of stimuli exercises child psychologists use during in-person behavior encoding sessions, Duke’s app is using the iPhone’s camera to analyze the child’s expressions. Parents have the option of sending researchers the recorded video of their child along with the encoded data.

Although Apple has confirmed the news of Bloomfield’s joining, the company has declined to give out any details about what his role at Apple would be.

During the past six months, Apple has hired Dr. Rajiv B. Kumar, a pediatric endocrinologist from Stanford University, Dr. Stephen Friend, president and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks, and Dr. Mike Evans, a Toronto doctor known for his videos on YouTube as “DocMikeEvans”.

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