23andMe shares its database of anonymized genetic data from more than 650,000 customers who decide to participate on the online medical studies. The ResearchKit app, developed in partnership with Apple, allows participants to integrate their genetic data with large-scale medical studies.
Medical studies initiated by partner institutions, like the Mount Sinai Asthma Health and Stanford Medicine's MyHeart Counts projects, can access 23andMe research services using a new ResearchKit app, through which customers can choose to share data. Customers of 23andMe's services can also choose to participate in other surveys to aid medical research, and provide data to 23andMe's industry, academic and non-profit partners.
The data collaborative allows research partners to quickly run queries on more than 1,000 diseases, conditions, and traits so that they can identify new associations between genetic markers using the 23andMe data. A single customer who chooses to opt into research contributes to over 230 studies on a variety of health topics. This effectively accelerates medical research, leading to significant discoveries at lesser cost in a fraction of the time.