Diabetes ResearchKit

Diabetes ResearchKit

Allscripts manages over 40 million patient records via their electronic health records (EHR). As you can imagine, these patient records are rich in data. One of the teams that work with this patient data (don't worry it's all de-identified) is the Allscripts Analytics Team. They are often tasked with analyzing this data and looking for innovative ways to apply it. One of the medical directors at Allscripts, Fatima Paruk, MD, MPH, had the idea of doing something useful for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes patients often suffer from suboptimal levels of health literacy and lack of engagement in their own healthcare. As you'll see, we developed an innovative approach to help manage this population and address this lack of engagement from patients.

Key problems solved

My Role

Understanding ResearchKit

Apple's ResearchKit is a platform designed to gather patient data for the purposes of healthcare research. It was the perfect platform for us to build our diabetic app because it would allow patients to submit a wide breath of data. Before we could begin designing for this platform, we had to research what exactly ResearchKit was and how it worked. I evaluated about a dozen ResearchKit apps, signing up for their study's and carefully evaluating their workflows and activities. The slides below are from a presentation I gave to stakeholders and fellow team members to help them understand all the ins and outs of this framework.


One of the main differentiators of this app revolved around its ability to make predictions about the patient's future health. Predictions would be based on insights of patients “just like me” with and without care interventions.  An individual health profile would be created by each user incorporating health and non-health data. Insights from predictive algorithms needed to be easy to understand, interactive and promote self-control and self-awareness about one’s own diabetic disease trajectory.

The early sketches below capture some of the initial ideas about how to show this kind of predictive information.

Wireframes & Workflows

These wireframes deal with workflows related to daily activities and areas where connections to third-party apps would be required such as FollowMyHealth, 23andMe and Lose It!


As the Allscripts team began development of the app I worked with a visual designer to create high fidelity mockups.

Take Aways

Apple saw the potential of this app when they invited our team to their campus and we spent the several days collaborating with their medical director and members of their ResearchKit development team. Ultimately, Allscripts decided to abandon development on this app due to changing priorities.

1 Infinite Loop - Apple Headquarters June 2016
Photo credit: Keith Heustis

How can I help you?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.