Last year’s release of Apple ResearchKit sent shock waves throughout the medical research community as a number of new smartphone apps launched to help doctors and scientists quickly gather data for their studies. SageBionetworks, the nonprofit research group that developed mPower (one of the first ResearchKit apps), today released data from more than 9,500 of its app users, making it available to researchers worldwide to accelerate understanding of Parkinson’s Disease. The dataset released today represents the first six months of data donated by mPower participants. Sage intends to add new data from the mPower app on a regular basis.
The dataset, which consists of more than half a million data points collected on a nearly-continuous basis, will provide researchers with unprecedented insight into the daily changes in symptoms and effects of medication for people with Parkinson’s. In stark contrast to this, most Parkinson’s studies being conducted today rely on data from small groups of people, typically fewer than 100, because of the difficulty in finding people to participate. The scale and scope of the mPower data are detailed in a paper published today in Nature Scientific Data and an accompanying editorial in NPJ Parkinson’s Disease.