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New Apple ResearchKit apps will be designed to collect your DNA

by Brandon Russell | May 6, 2015May 6, 2015 8:40 am PDT

One of Apple’s bigger announcements this year was ResearchKit, an initiative designed to turn your iPhone into a powerful health tool. And, according to a new report, the platform is going to get even more powerful. The Cupertino company is allegedly working with U.S. researchers to create apps that gather consumers’ DNA, which researchers can then use to conduct research.

“Apple is collaborating with U.S. researchers to launch apps that would offer some iPhone owners the chance to get their DNA tested, many of them for the first time,” MIT Technology Review said.

Making this information easily accessible could give researchers the opportunity to make breakthroughs for diseases and other common human ailments. Apple’s ResearchKit has reportedly seen terrific response from the medical community since launching in March, giving Apple the confidence to further move forward with its health platform. There are currently five ResearchKit-based apps, a number that will likely expand in the coming months.

But the DNA-based apps would be different in that you’d need to send out a physical sample. Apple won’t be the one collecting or testing your DNA, just providing the platform for companies to contribute to.

The data would be maintained by scientists in a computing cloud, but certain findings could appear directly on consumers’ iPhones as well. Eventually, it’s even possible consumers mights swipe to share “my genes” as easily as they do their location.

It’s possible the expansion of ResearchKit will be detailed at WWDC in June, though the report notes that Apple might not be quite ready to talk about what it’s working on. WWDC kicks off June 8.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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