GSK Powered by Apple's ResearchKit for Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trial


GlaxoSmithKline has commenced an observational study using Apple Inc’s ResearchKit for better designing of clinical trials for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

GSK Apple ResearchKit

It is the first drugmaker who will utilize iPhone associated Apple’s Research Kit to carry out clinical researchGlaxoSmithKline will record the mobility of 300 participants over three months by their app and later, it will inquire the patients about their physical and emotional symptoms like the level of pain and mood swings.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints and also other areas of the body. The “rheumatoid factor” is an antibody that is found in the blood of 80% of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid factor is detected by a simple blood test.

The health app contains a guided wrist exercise which will record the motion by using the phone sensors and the drugmaker can obtain the personalized information of the users which will further be used by the company to design better clinical trials.

researchkit apple

Figure 1. Apple ResearchKit applications (photo credit:

The success of the study would determine whether the company will move ahead with the Apple’s product to strategize research.

This ResearchKit can assist Glaxo to minimize research expenditure, which can extend millions of dollars.These types of observational trials can take months or even years to recruit and enroll patients. It can enhance recruitment in the trials.

Certainly, you’ve also taken out the site costs, and the costs of having nurses and physicians explaining the studies to them and recording information.” said Rob DiCicco, head of Glaxo’s clinical innovation and digital platforms group.

The use of fitness and health devices are gradually increasing in the society for easy access of health information by people. The potential of the Research Kit to reach more number of people easily can popularize it among people in a short time.

Apple’s Research Kit can serve as a building block to increase the faith of people on these types of health technology where these will be tried and tested by the drugmakers and health care providers to extend their services to the people by these progressive technologies.

ResearchKit — Empowering doctors, researchers, and now you (credit: Apple Inc.).

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