ResearchKit looks like a winner [right now]

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Here’s a researchers dream: Wake up one morning and find that 11,000 people have signed up for your latest study.

“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”

Here’s a researchers nightmare: Losing 80% of those 11,000.

Out of the gate, ResearchKit appears to be a smashing success. However, there’s a problem — with most mobile apps (particularly those that are commercialized by the download or rewarded for large user bases), the crucial question is “if you build it will they come?

The problem is that with research, particularly longitudinal research studies, there’s another [much more important] question: “if you build it, will they stay?