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There's an App for That

Last year, Apple unveiled a new platform that offers a streamlined way to create mobile applications linked to medical research. The technology, called ResearchKit, lets investigators more easily connect with the people whose diseases they're studying, allowing them to gather feedback on symptoms, as well as data on everything from a patient's weight to the air quality where they live. "When you can collect real-time information, you don't have issues with recall or bias," says Dr. Deborah Estrin, a professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medicine. "If you ask somebody how much pain they had over the last two weeks — as is typical in a doctor's appointment — they will answer the question differently than if you ask them how much pain they had today."

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