Health Measurement of Data-Scarce Software Ecosystems: A Case Study of Apple’s ResearchKit

Paul Van Vulpen*, Abel Menkveld, Slinger Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


    Current methods for measuring open source software ecosystem health are unable to measure the health of young software ecosystems, due to a lack of data. This paper proposes a new method for measuring software ecosystem health. By using a mixed method design with interviews as the primary data source, a health measurement can be performed on data scarce ecosystems. This is applied to ResearchKit, Apple’s SDK to create applications for medical research. The case study shows that the ResearchKit ecosystem is threatened by the outbound links of the third-party software developers. These developers intend to create web-based applications as ResearchKit suffers from a selection bias that makes it unsuitable for most medical research. The interviews exposed an inherent problem that is unrelated to ecosystem size and may not have been found in a traditional health measurement.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSoftware Business - 8th International Conference, ICSOB 2017, Proceedings
    EditorsKarl Werder, Arto Ojala, Helena Holmstrom Olsson
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9783319691909
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event8th International Conference on Software Business, ICSOB 2017 - Essen, Germany
    Duration: 12 Jun 201713 Jun 2017

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
    ISSN (Print)1865-1348


    Conference8th International Conference on Software Business, ICSOB 2017


    • Ecosystem health
    • Open source
    • Software ecosystems


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