Cupertino, CA-March’s Apple Live event generated some intriguing buzz around the coveted Apple Watch, along with some innovative updates to Apple’s existing product line. But what caught our eye the most was the announcement of ResearchKit. ResearchKit is an app that allows us to put our iPhones to work for us and provide invaluable insights into our health using our own personal data.

ResearchKit is a mobile platform for creating iPhone apps that has the ability to bring together a significant amount of personal data from a diverse patient database. This platform marks a major leap in the connecting of personal data, wearable trackers, and medicine. And it certainly has the potential to change the way we learn about new procedures or even how we conduct clinical trials.

Although it was released just a week ago, ResearchKit is already a major topic of interest at many of the medical panels at SXSW Interactive this year.

It has the potential to accelerate everything from breast cancer research to drug development, said Dr. Leslie Saxon, founder and executive director of The USC Center for Body Computing. It’s going to be the ultimate mash up.

Five apps have already been released for the ResearchKit that are able to help diagnose multiple disorders. One of the apps that was highlighted during the Apple Live event was the introduction of a Parkinson’s Disease app. The app is able to gauge the effects and test for the disease by using a tapping rhythm. Other apps that were discussed were diabetes diagnostic apps and apps to help breast cancer victims.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.