While LGBT community makes social leaps, Apple ResearchKit will help on medical issues

The social status of people belonging to the LGBT community today is much different from what it was even a few decades back. Today, pictures of transgender celebrities on magazine covers is a frequent occurrence. Additionally, we will be seeing the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage across the United States. The LGBT community is celebrated, and for very good reason.

However, one area we are still lagging behind is health of LGBT people. A group of medical researchers have taken an initiative to make advancement in that area. Soon, they will be launching a “PRIDE Study” to bring unique health requirements of LGBT people to the limelight. For conducting the study, the researchers have decided to use iPhones.


Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco have developed a ResearchKit app, which will survey numerous LGBT folks regarding health issues such as smoking, cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity, depression and other mental issues, etc.

According to Mitchell Lunn, the study’s co-director, the primary question that must be answered is: how physical and mental health is related to being someone from the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community or more broadly speaking someone from a gender or sexual minority group.

Lunn and his colleagues are hoping that the PRIDE Study conducted by them will particularly be useful in dealing with different health issues faced by bisexual and transgender people; these are the two most understudied segments of the LGBT community.

The advocates of LGBT health, on the other hand, are expressing their excitement about the immense potential of reaching the vast user base of iPhone for gathering data for the study. It’s not easy to make people sign up for health studies; getting people come to clinics is also extremely difficult. This app-based study will allow people to submit information on their respective iPhones without the need of visiting clinics.


When the Stanford University launched a ResearchKit app for measuring heart activities, more than 11,000 users signed up within a day. Based on current trends, it can be said that a medical study will need more than a year’s time for recruiting so many participants.

Now, the researchers conducting the PRIDE Study will be asking users to suggest LGBT-related health topics they feel the study should address. The final questionnaire for the survey will be prepared based on that feedback.

About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.