ResearchDroid – An Android ResearchKit Library to Create Medical Research Apps

by Chintan Patel, PhD

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We are excited about ResearchDroid – a port of the Apple’s ResearchKit for the Android platform. The initial launch of ResearchKit had caused a huge spike of interest from researchers all around the world regarding the capabilities of the platform and being able to conduct massive studies with objective mobile device data. We showcased and discussed the toolkit with numerous researchers at top US academic institutions (we work closely with them for our clinical trial recruitment platform – iConnect) but we heard loud and clear from the investigators that they were hesitant to launch a study that was only available on Apple devices. Since then we went back to our drawing boards and have been coding to create an Android port of the ResearchKit.

ResearchDroid deeply integrates with the Android platform and programming conventions. Instead of copying or mimicking the Objective-C codebase, we took a step back and worked hard to make the APIs look and feel natural to developers in the Android camp. We are actively working on the codebase and you will see a lot of commits from us.

We launched ResearchDroid at the mHealth Conference on Nov 9, 2015. To demonstrate the full capabilities of the library, we also launched a step-count study in February 2016 on both Android and iOS platforms that leverages the ResearchKit features to quickly build a study app – America Walks Study. The App will leverage the mobile phone’s step count sensor technology to automatically determine participants’ daily walking activity, thus being the first research study to measure such activity using mobile phones, instead of self reported surveys, pedometers or tracking devices.

We are just getting started on this mission. We wanted to make this as an open source community project early on to receive your support and critical feedback. Looking forward to a lot of forks and pull requests! You can read more about Researchdroid and android integrations here.

And if you are looking to build a ResearchKit App that runs on both iOS and Android, give us a shout!


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