The new API provides App developers using ResearchKit have the ability to offer passive, all-day monitoring via an Apple Watch with watchOS 5. To achieve this, the API two very common symptoms of Parkinson’s. The tremor, which shows itself by shaking and trembling, can be recognized by the Apple Watch as well as dyskinesia. This is a side effect of the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in which patients perform fidgeting and rocking movements.
At present, a doctor would ask a patient in a clinic to participate in diagnostic tests to assess the severity of the symptoms. Patients are also encouraged to keep diaries when they are out of the clinic to give their doctor a broader view of the symptoms. The goal is to perform this process automatically and continuously with the Movement Disorder API for Apple Watch users.
Apps could then graph data for patients and physicians to see not only the daily failures but also the hourly and minute variations in symptoms.
Apple announced ResearchKit for the first time in March 2015 and has since described in detail how researchers are using it effectively for studies on sleep health, concussions, autism, epilepsy melanoma, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
Apps like mPower already use the ResearchKit to make the gyroscope and to use other sensors of the iPhone, as well as the Apple Watch to record things like skill, balance and the gear. However, the new Movement Disorder API should provide researchers with a new way and more compressed data for passive tracking of these symptoms with an Apple Watch.
Developers must apply for Code-Signing permission to gain access to the Movement Disorder Get API. Apple wants to make it available from the second developer version of watchOS5.