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Apple's ResearchKit expands internationally

MyHeart Counts is the first ResearchKit app to launch outside the US

Apple's ResearchKit apps aren't restricted to US users anymore. Starting today, people who live in Hong Kong and the UK will be able to access the MyHeart Counts app, which collects data on physical activity and cardiac risk factors for a heart disease study run by Stanford University.

This is the first ResearchKit app to get an international release. Until recently, the ResearchKit software platform — a platform designed to let scientists create iPhone apps to recruit study participants — could only be used to run studies in the US. Since its launch in March, the MyHeart Counts app has enrolled more than 41,000 US participants. But that's just the beginning; the researchers behind the study want to make MyHeart Counts the largest study of measured physical activity and cardiovascular health to date. The international release is no doubt part of their efforts to reach that goal.

The app has already enrolled more than 41,000 participants

The US version of the MyHeart Counts also received an update today. iPhone users who are enrolled in the study will now get more feedback about their behaviors, based on the American Heart Association’s "Life’s Simple 7" recommendations. Presumably, this feedback will encourage participants to eat better and be more physical active. The new version of the app will also give participants an idea of how well they're doing based on other user's fitness test data. Finally, an added "newsfeed section" will include updates on heart health-related news.