Boston Children's Hospital uses Apple's ResearchKit framework for fever study

As common as fever is, it is a medical condition that's still not completely understood by clinicians. Boston Children's Hospital has launched an app to try to decode some of the mystery.

The app, Feverprints, uses Apple's ResearchKit framework to crowdsource information about lifestyle and health, and body markers like body temperature, from individuals who opt-in via their mobile devices. The data will be secured in a database and anonymized so no identifying information is retained.

"Many factors come together to set an individual's 'normal' temperature, such as age, size, time of day and maybe even ancestry," Jared Hawkins, PhD, the director of informatics for the Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator and Autoinflammatory Diseases Clinic, a member of Boson Children's Computational Health Informatics Program, said in a statement. "We want to help create a better understanding of the normal temperature variations throughout the day, to learn to use fever as a tool to improve medical diagnosis, and to evaluate the effect of fever medications on symptoms and disease course. By using ResearchKit to bring this study to iPhone, we're able to gather more data about body temperature patterns than ever before possible."

The team plans to mine the data for insights on normal and abnormal body temperatures that might help clinicians better accurately diagnosis and understand fever. 

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