Apple gets NYU Langone Concussion Tracker app for iPhone, Watch
NYU Langone Medical Center has made its free Concussion Tracker app available for Apple's iPhone and Watch, which researchers hope will help them better learn how to ultimately treat patients with concussions.
The NYU Langone app joins the growing cadre of health-centric tools that run on Apple's hardware and ResearchKit software. The initial five apps targeted patients with asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson's.
Concussions, too, are ripe for more data-driven research and that's starting to happen with apps and services. IBM Watson, for instance, inked a pact in October with Triax Technologies to mine Facebook for common symptoms.
[See also: Apple injects health features into Watch.]
NYU Langone, in fact, estimated the number that occur each year to be 4 million and while the health system was clear that Concussion Tracker is not engineered for preventing, diagnosing or treating concussions, the app is intended to identify patients who have a "persistent problem that must be addressed," as a result of the injury.
Here's how it works: every day patients answer five questions relating to symptoms, take a six-minute walk, and undergo concentration exercises and Concussion Tracker records that information then via Apple's ResearchKit sends it to NYU Langone researchers.
NYU Langone is using Concussion Tracker in parallel six-week studies wherein one set of patients will use the app outside the hospital while another set will come into the health system to complete the tasks in front of a research coordinator.
[See also: Duke looks toward next steps with Apple HealthKit.]
"This data could enable us to understand daily symptom profiles for patients for the first time," said Laura Balcer, MD, co-director of NYU Langone's Concussion Center.
CMIO Paul Testa, MD, added that the research "will let us assess current treatment protocols in ways not before possible, including greater understanding of how a patient's concussion symptoms improve over the course of their recovery."
Here are a few screenshots of the app: