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Getting Started with ResearchKit

Getting Started with ResearchKit

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Getting Started with ResearchKit

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Lançado em:
Feb 18, 2016


Enter the era of medical research using mobile devices with the help of this guide on ResearchKit!

About This Book

- Create a simple clinical research app using most aspects of ResearchKit
- Build a simple survey with various data types with the results printed on the screen.
- A step-by-step guide introducing Apple's ResearchKit and techniques to incorporate it into various apps.

Who This Book Is For

This book is aimed at medical researchers with basic iOS coding knowledge and iOS developers looking to create clinical research apps.

What You Will Learn

- Learn to create customized consent form
- Get introduced to two backend services: a simple backend server using Sinatra and Sage Bridge
- Build a custom task (a conditional survey example) and a navigable task
- Get an Overview of ResearchKit's open source repository and App Core
- Interaction with the hardware of the device including the gyro and the motion sensors
- Learn the basics of this revolutionary technology
- Get introduced to the barebones app and learn to write your first code

In Detail

ResearchKit is an open source software development framework from Apple that lets you easily create mobile applications for clinical research studies. ResearchKit provides you the ability to orchestrate the administration of tasks and recording of the results. ResearchKit provides tasks in order to perform informed consent, active tasks, and surveys.
Starting with the basics of the ResearchKit framework, this books walks you through the steps of creating iOS applications that could serve as the basis of a clinical research mobile app.
This book will introduce readers to ResearchKit and how to turn your iPhone into into a clinical research tool. The book will start off by installing and building the research framework in line with the researcher's needs; during this, the reader will learn to embed ResearchKit in the application and create a small task.
After this, the book will go a little deeper into creating modules for surveys, consents, and so on. The book will also cover the various aspects of privacy and security with regard to participant data, and how to build dashboards for visualizing medical data and results in line with the researcher's requirements: data backends, JSON serialization and deserialization, and so on.
Readers will be able to fully utilize ResearchKit for medical research, will be able to get more and more patients to participate in their surveys, and will gain insights from the surveys using the dashboards created.

Style and approach

A hands-on guide with ample screenshots for you to follow and learn about ResearchKit. Each topic is explained sequentially and placed in context so that you can get a better understanding of every step in the process of creating clinical research apps.
Lançado em:
Feb 18, 2016

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Getting Started with ResearchKit - Cessna Edward

Table of Contents

Getting Started with ResearchKit


About the Authors

About the Reviewers


Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more

Why subscribe?

Free access for Packt account holders


What this book covers

What you need for this book

Who this book is for


Reader feedback

Customer support

Downloading the example code




1. Getting Started

What is ResearchKit?


Identification, authentication, and authorization

Informed consent

Relationship with HealthKit

Features not provided by ResearchKit

The anatomy of a ResearchKit-based application


2. ResearchKit Hello World

Hello World App

Create project

Checkout ResearchKit from GitHub

Import ResearchKit

Enable Data Protection

Hello World!

Introducing Softwareitis


3. Building Surveys

ResearchKit object model

Tasks and steps

Task view controller and results

Building surveys

Instruction step

Question step

Form step

Considerations for real-world surveys

BONUS: Appearance customization


4. ResearchKit Informed Consent

Consent document

Visual consent step

Consent review step

Consent sharing

Consent process

Obtaining results


5. Active Tasks

Active tasks

Short walk task

Sample code



Two-finger tapping interval task

Sample code



Fitness task

Sample code



Spatial memory task

Sample Code



Sustained phonation task

Sample code



Data formats

Pedometer data

Location data

Device motion data

Accelerometer data

Audio data


6. Navigable and Custom Tasks

Navigable ordered tasks

Custom tasks


7. Backend Service

Why is backend service needed?

Security and privacy

Introduction to Sage Bionetworks and the Bridge service

Introduction to sample ResearchKit backend server

Serialization of task results

The serialization of survey responses

Serialization of file results


8. Where to Go from Here

Restoring tasks

Graphs and charts

Pie chart

Line graph

Discrete graph


Cron expressions

APCSchedule Expression

Safeguarding Data-in-transit

A theoretical architecture for ResearchKit-based applications

Presentation layer

Business logic layer

Data substrate layer

Online ResearchKit resource



Getting Started with ResearchKit

Getting Started with ResearchKit

Copyright © 2016 Packt Publishing

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.

Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy of the information presented. However, the information contained in this book is sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the author, nor Packt Publishing, and its dealers and distributors will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this book.

Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all of the companies and products mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals. However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

First published: February 2016

Production reference: 1020216

Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.

Livery Place

35 Livery Street

Birmingham B3 2PB, UK.

ISBN 978-1-78588-917-2




Dhanush Balachandran

Edward Cessna


Oliver Gepp

Andreas Griesser

Commissioning Editor

Veena Pagare

Acquisition Editor

Kevin Colaco

Content Development Editor

Sumeet Sawant

Technical Editor

Danish Shaikh

Copy Editor

Vibha Shukla

Project Coordinator

Shweta H Birwatkar


Safis Editing


Mariammal Chettiyar


Disha Haria

Production Coordinator

Nilesh Mohite

Cover Work

Nilesh Mohite

About the Authors

Dhanush Balachandran has a vast experience in creating mobile apps for healthcare industry that include several ResearchKit apps. He was the lead iOS engineer at Jiff, a healthcare start-up and later worked on ResearchKit-based apps for leading institutions. Currently, he is an iOS engineer at DJI. He is also the founder & CEO of mobile app startup, Sortly.

Edward Cessna is the software engineering director for Y Media Labs, a digital agency in Northern California that creates mobile applications. He has three decades of software engineering experience—ranging from embedded software providing cryptographic services to a multitude of iOS applications. He has been working with iOS since its first public release in July 2008. He has managed the development effort for a number of ResearchKit-based applications for leading research institutions.

About the Reviewers

Oliver Gepp is a senior software engineer at Zühlke Group, Switzerland with a strong focus on mobile apps. He has a diploma in media computer science from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. Most of his projects are in the insurance and banking business, where he covers the whole application life cycle such as business analysis, development, and testing. His passion is developing mobile apps for the iOS platform not only in Swift and Objective-C, but also with cross platform technologies such as Xamarin.

Andreas Griesser is leading the business development at Zühlke Group, Switzerland in the area of LabScience, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology. He holds a master's degree in telecommunication, mathematics, and informatics from the Technical University of Graz, Austria and a PhD in computer science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland (ETH). During his career, he was involved in research projects of real-time three-dimensional scanning, general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU), and medical image analysis.

Under his current activities at Zühlke in the healthcare sector, he focuses on topics such as digital transformation and connected devices—not only on a technical level, but also with a business-related perspective.


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This book helps you get started on creating ResearchKit-based applications. ResearchKit™ is an open source framework introduced by Apple that allows researchers and developers to create powerful apps for medical research.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Started, introduces ResearchKit and explains the anatomy of a ResearchKit-based application.

Chapter 2, ResearchKit Hello World, helps you create your first ResearchKit application and teaches how to integrate ResearchKit in your projects.

Chapter 3, Building Surveys, covers how to create and present clinical surveys. In this process, you'll also learn about the ResearchKit object model.

Chapter 4, ResearchKit Informed Consent, explains how to create, present, and obtain informed consent to participate in clinical studies from the end users.

Chapter 5, Active Tasks, covers how to use active tasks—one of the most important features of ResearchKit.

Chapter 6, Navigable and Custom Tasks, helps you create smart surveys that can skip questions based on the answers provided by users.

Chapter 7, Back End Service, explains how to serialize task results to send to a backend service.

Chapter 8, Where to go from here, helps you learn various tools and tips to create real-world ResearchKit applications.

What you need for this book

iOS Software development tools: Xcode 7.0 or higher

iOS Device (iPhone or iPad) to use sensors, GPS, and so on

Basic knowledge of iOS and Swift 2.0

Access to the Internet to download the source code associated with this book

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at medical researchers with basic iOS coding knowledge and iOS developers looking to create clinical research apps.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their

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