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Bringing Iphone-Style Medical Research to the Android World

Deborah Estrin, a professor of computer science at Cornell Tech, coordinated the work on Research Stack, which works with Google's Android software platform.

Weill Cornell Medical College professor Deborah Estrin has been working to develop capabilities similar to those provided by ResearchKit software to the Android platform.

Credit: Cornell Tech

Apple's introduction of ResearchKit software for its iPhone platform in March prompted Weill Cornell Medical College professor Deborah Estrin to launch an effort to embed similar capability within Google's Android platform.

She says the newly-announced ResearchStack project seeks to introduce a modular, open source software framework similar to ResearchKit.

Estrin says ResearchStack is designed to seamlessly interoperate with ResearchKit-using initiatives. "Researchers can create a study that is independent of what smartphone is used, and they won't have to start from scratch," she says.

Among the current projects ResearchStack will soon accommodate is Mole Mapper, an application for a melanoma study from the Oregon Health and Science University. The study entails people capturing photos of moles via smartphones to monitor their growth, with the goal of devising detection algorithms and helping people manage the health of their skin.

Developing apps for individuals as well as scientists is essential for successful large-scale studies, according to Estrin. She says the personal health management enabled by these apps will help drive "the growing data-sharing movement," encouraging millions to "contribute to big data-derived discovery and understanding" in medicine.

From The New York Times
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