Following the success of Stanford University’s School of Medicine MyHeart Counts cardiovascular health study, researchers at Yale School of Medicine have released the Yale Cardiomyopathy Index app as part of a study on US residents who have or are at risk of developing cardiomyopathy – a disease of the heart muscle.

Designed using ResearchKit, Apple’s open source platform that allows researchers and developers to create apps for medical research, participants are required to take self-assessments about their quality of life and heart-related symptoms. They also have the option to perform six-minute walk tests to analyse their physical abilities and heart rate trends.

The iPhone-based study was developed by Assistant Professor of Pediatric Cardiology and Director of the Pediatric Heart Failure Program at Yale School of Medicine, E. Kevin Hall, who according to Buzzfeed, coded the app himself in his spare time, and Assistant Professor of Genetics and of Paediatrics, Dr Michele Spencer-Manzon.

The study is open to anyone between the ages of 2 and 80. For participants who are under 18 their parents will be required to take part in the study, and for participants aged 2 to 7 their parents will take part in the study on their own, answering questions for their children. These younger age groups are given a tailored set of surveys that aim to identify how cardiomyopathy affects them.

“Our study is the first to use ResearchKit to better understand these heart issues affecting children and young adults. With a parent or guardian’s permission and co-participation, children as young as 8 can provide assessments of how their cardiomyopathy, or their risk of developing a cardiomyopathy, affects their daily lives,” said Hall.

“Understanding how these conditions affect people’s day-to-day lives is of significant importance in better treating patients. We believe this app will go a long way in helping us learn how to improve patients’ quality of life,” concluded Hall.

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