Lost in the excitement generated by the unveiling of the Apple Watch was the launch of an iPhone feature called ResearchKit, a software tool that could shake up data gathering for medical research. ResearchKit is designed to encourage the 7 million iPhone users around the world to sign up and participate directly in research. It “could revolutionize medical studies,” according to Apple, by increasing the pool of research subjects and the ease of collecting data and interaction with patients. Apple has already released five ResearchKit apps that link users to studies on Parkinson's disease, diabetes, asthma, breast cancer and heart disease. The software collects participants' information as they go about their daily lives, rather than in a laboratory, and feeds the data directly back to medical researchers. High-profile institutions have already signed up to use this open-source platform: University of Rochester, New York; Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing; Sage Bionetworks, based in Seattle; Massachusetts General Hospital, based in Boston; Stanford University in California; the University of Oxford in Oxford, UK; Mount Sinai Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College, both in New York; the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston; the UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles; and Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. The ResearchKit will sit alongside Apple's Health app, which gives iPhone users an easy-to-read dashboard of their health and fitness data. A developer tool called HealthKit will allow further development of compatible third-party apps.