Struggling with addiction? There's an app for that. Sure, it may sound like a joke, but in reality, Apple's Research Kit is now working with the National Institute of Health to fund drug addiction studies that use an iPhone app to collect research data.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse, a division of NIH, is offering an award to researches who use Apple's medical research framework to build apps for addiction research, fortune.com reports. The challenge, called "Addiction Research: There's an App for that" will reward $100,000 in funding to teams that create a working app by April 2016.
The research the National Institute of Drug Abuse is looking for data related to nicotine, opioids, cannabinoids (including marijuana), methamphetamines and prescription drug use. The app is meant to "track lifestyle choices, behaviors, nutrition, stress, social participation, work, school, home, neighborhood, genetics, exposure to technology, etc." Its purpose is to get to the root of what makes some gravitate toward drug abuse and addiction and others shy away from it.
Apple's Research Kit platform is revolutionizing the way clinic studies are being conducted, giving scientists the ability to do studies of "unprecedented size."
Given the number of iPhone users, a Research Kit study could yield robust results, leaving previous studies that require scientists to recruit volunteers on college campuses or otherwise behind and opening a whole new potential base of participants. It's a platform that is being used by major medical institutions like Johns Hopkins and Stanford Medicine, among others.
Because the app only works with IPhones, Google is now in the market for developing its own platform.
This is proof that technology can and will help in the battle against addiction.
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