On Thursday, Apple announced the next round of scientific studies and research partners that will be using its ResearchKit to gather health data from participants via their iPhones and Apple Watches.

Duke University will be conducting research into the early signs of autism and hopes to employ the iPhone's front-facing camera so that concerned parents can monitor perceived changes in their children.

Oregon Health & Science University will also be using the handset's camera capabilities in order to track mole growth as a means of trying to detect melanoma in its earliest stages.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins University will be testing an Apple Watch's sensors that can recognize the onset and duration of an epileptic seizure.

"We're honored to work with world-class medical institutions and provide them with tools to better understand diseases and ultimately help people lead healthier lives," said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of Operations.

"In just six months, ResearchKit apps studying everything from asthma and diabetes to Parkinson's disease, are already providing insights to scientists around the world and more than 100,000 participants are choosing to contribute their data to advance science and medical research."