Top Stories
Top Stories

'Share the Journey' app boost data collection in cancer fight

Game changer for health research

Apple is moving into health care with the launch of its ResearchKit. It will essentially turn a device from the tech giant into a diagnostic tool for a range of diseases including Parkinson's, asthma and diabetes among others.

Kathryn Schmitz is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and helped create "Share the Journey," an app that focuses on breast cancer patients and works with ResearchKit. She called it a "game changer" in the way researchers collect large amounts of data from patients across the country.

"This changes our ability to recruit on thousands and tens of thousands, where in the past we could only recruit on tens and hundreds," she told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street " on Tuesday.

Read MoreWearables are coming to the workplace. Here's where

The app will track symptoms like fatigue, cognitive difficulties, sleep disturbance and mood changes. More importantly, Schmitz explained, is the platform itself which allows researches to build whatever they want in order to track whatever symptoms they need.

"That is the promise and that's what is really exciting. We have chosen a few things that are common complaints among breast cancer survivors for us to build the platform to show that it works and to show other researchers the power of this platform."

She added that functions that can monitor blood pressure, blood alcohol levels, or stress might not be "very far away" but will depend on FDA approval which could be a long process in and of itself.

Hargreaves reacts to Apple Watch

Andy Hargreaves, Pacific Crest Securities senior research analyst, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that there are lots of data collection services and "some are arguably better for fitness and health purposes."

"I think it's still unclear whether or not we want the full robustness of an Apple Watch or whether we want really purpose-built data collection like you'd get from a Fitbit or something that's smaller and lighter and has a longer battery life."