Skip to content


Repository files navigation

ResearchKit Framework

VCS Platform CocoaPods Carthage Compatible License

The ResearchKit™ framework is an open source software framework that makes it easy to create apps for medical research or for other research projects.

Table of Contents


The ResearchKit framework codebase supports iOS and requires Xcode 12.0 or newer. The ResearchKit framework has a Base SDK version of 13.0.



View the ResearchKit framework documentation by setting ResearchKit as your target in Xcode and selecting 'Build Documentation' in the Product menu dropdown.

Getting Started

Install as an embedded framework

Download the project source code and drag in ResearchKit.xcodeproj. Then, embed ResearchKit framework in your app by adding it to the "Frameworks, Libraries, and Embedded Content" section for your target as shown in the figure below.


ORKCatalog App

The included catalog app demonstrates the different modules that are available in ResearchKit. Find the project in ResearchKit's samples directory.

catalog-home catalog-survey


The ResearchKit framework provides a pre-built user interface for surveys, which can be presented modally on an iPhone or iPad. The example below shows the process to present a height question for a participant to answer.

import ResearchKit
import ResearchKitUI
let sectionHeaderFormItem = ORKFormItem(sectionTitle: "Your question here.")

let heightQuestionFormItem = ORKFormItem(identifier: "heightQuestionFormItem1", text: nil, answerFormat: ORKAnswerFormat.heightAnswerFormat())
heightQuestionFormItem.placeholder = "Tap here"

let formStep = ORKFormStep(identifier: "HeightQuestionIdentifier", title: "Height", text: "Local system")
formStep.formItems = [sectionHeaderFormItem, heightQuestionFormItem]

return formStep

The height question is presented in the figure below.

height-question height-question-2


The ResearchKit framework provides classes that you can customize to explain the details of your research study and obtain a signature if needed. Use ResearchKit's provided classes to quickly welcome, and inform your participants of what the study entails.

import ResearchKit
import ResearchKitUI

// Welcome page.
let welcomeStep = ORKInstructionStep(identifier: String(describing: Identifier.consentWelcomeInstructionStep))
welcomeStep.iconImage = UIImage(systemName: "hand.wave")
welcomeStep.title = "Welcome!"
welcomeStep.detailText = "Thank you for joining our study. Tap Next to learn more before signing up."
// Before You Join page.
let beforeYouJoinStep = ORKInstructionStep(identifier: String(describing: Identifier.informedConsentInstructionStep))
beforeYouJoinStep.iconImage = UIImage(systemName: "doc.text.magnifyingglass")
beforeYouJoinStep.title = "Before You Join"
let sharingHealthDataBodyItem = ORKBodyItem(text: "The study will ask you to share some of your Health data.",
                                            detailText: nil,
                                            image: UIImage(systemName: "heart.fill"),
                                            learnMoreItem: nil,
                                            bodyItemStyle: .image)
let completingTasksBodyItem = ORKBodyItem(text: "You will be asked to complete various tasks over the duration of the study.",
                                          detailText: nil,
                                          image: UIImage(systemName: ""),
                                          learnMoreItem: nil,
                                          bodyItemStyle: .image)
let signatureBodyItem = ORKBodyItem(text: "Before joining, we will ask you to sign an informed consent document.",
                                    detailText: nil,
                                    image: UIImage(systemName: "signature"),
                                    learnMoreItem: nil,
                                    bodyItemStyle: .image)
let secureDataBodyItem = ORKBodyItem(text: "Your data is kept private and secure.",
                                     detailText: nil,
                                     image: UIImage(systemName: "lock.fill"),
                                     learnMoreItem: nil,
                                     bodyItemStyle: .image)
beforeYouJoinStep.bodyItems = [

The consent steps are presented in the figure below.

consent-welcome-page consent-before-you-join

Vist the Obtaining Consentarticle in ResearchKit's Documentation for more examples that include signature collection and PDF file storage.

Active Tasks

Some studies may need data beyond survey questions or the passive data collection capabilities available through use of the HealthKit and CoreMotion APIs if you are programming for iOS. ResearchKit's active tasks invite users to perform activities under semi-controlled conditions, while iPhone sensors actively collect data. ResearchKit active tasks are not diagnostic tools nor medical devices of any kind and output from those active tasks may not be used for diagnosis. Developers and researchers are responsible for complying with all applicable laws and regulations with respect to further development and use of the active tasks.

Use predefined tasks provided by ResearchKit to guide your participants through specific actions.

import ResearchKit
import ResearchKitUI
import ResearchKitActiveTask

let orderedTask = ORKOrderedTask.dBHLToneAudiometryTask(withIdentifier: "dBHLToneAudiometryTaskIdentifier",
							intendedUseDescription: nil, options: [])
let taskViewController = ORKTaskViewController(task: orderedTask, taskRun: nil)
taskViewController.delegate = self

present(taskViewController, animated: true)

The dBHL Tone Audiometry task is presented in the figure below.

noise-check dbhl-tone-test

Getting Help

GitHub is our primary forum for ResearchKit. Feel free to open up issues about questions, problems, or ideas.


This project is made available under the terms of a BSD license. See the LICENSE file.


ResearchKit is an open source software framework that makes it easy to create apps for medical research or for other research projects.







No packages published