Apple aims to transform medicine with this month’s UK release of the MyHeart Counts app.

Apple aims to transform medicine with this month’s UK release of the MyHeart Counts app. Developed with the company’s ResearchKit tool, the free app harnesses the power of big data and smartphone sensors to gather information on fitness and cardiovascular health that would be impossible to collect through traditional research methods.

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MyHeart Counts not only tracks user health profiles, but also encrypts and aggregates the data, thus contributing to clinical studies without infringing on the user’s individual privacy. Other ResearchKit apps that have launched in the United States include mPower, to study Parkinson’s Disease, and GlucoSuccess, a diabetes study created by Massachusetts General Hospital.

With over 1bn iOS devices sold, Apple offers access to an unprecedented pool of potential study volunteers. The eradication of disease and aging—defined as the Silicon Valley’s Next Frontier in our latest Future 100 report—is the focus of an ever-increasing number of technology ventures, from Google’s Calico to the Ellison Medical Foundation, created by Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

J. Walter Thompson Intelligence has followed the increase of wearable health trackers since the Smart Clothing and Intelligent Objects trends in our 100 Things to Watch 2012 and 2013, respectively. Unlike many previous innovations in this area, ResearchKit is not only adding value to individual users, but also accelerating medical progress.

As people consider whether to surrender their personal data, these initiatives are not only offering personal incentives, but also the sense of contributing to a larger project. Brands that can find a way to tie personal rewards to the greater good will increasingly find favor with their customers.

Image source: Bidness Etc