Medical Technology

Apple’s health apps get a boost with CareKit

Apple-health-apps

Apple has announced CareKit, a new software framework designed to help developers enable people to actively manage their own medical conditions. iPhone apps using CareKit make it easier for individuals to keep track of care plans and monitor symptoms and medication; providing insights that help people better understand their own health. With the ability to share information with doctors, nurses or family members, CareKit apps help people take a more active role in their health.Apple-health-apps

“We’re thrilled with the profound impact ResearchKit has already had on the pace and scale of conducting medical research, and have realized that many of the same principles could help with individual care,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We believe that giving individuals the tools to understand what is happening with their health is incredibly powerful, and apps designed using CareKit make this a reality by empowering people to take a more active role in their care.”

CareKit will be released as an open source framework next month allowing the developer community to continue building on the first four modules designed by Apple, that include:

* Care Card helps people track their individual care plans and action items, such as taking medication or completing physical therapy exercises. Activities can automatically be tracked and entered using sensors in Apple Watch or iPhone;

* Symptom and Measurement Tracker lets users easily record their symptoms and how they’re feeling, like monitoring temperature for possible infections or measuring pain or fatigue. Progress updates could include simple surveys, photos that capture the progression of a wound or activities calculated by using the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope, like quantifying range of motion;

* Insight Dashboard maps symptoms against the action items in the Care Card to easily show how treatments are working; and

* Connect makes it easy for people to share information and communicate with doctors, care teams or family members about their health and any change in condition.

Developers of health and wellness apps are excited to build these CareKit modules into apps for Parkinson’s patients, post-surgery progress, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health and maternal health. Some examples include:

* Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester are using CareKit to turn the mPower ResearchKit study into a valuable tool to help better inform patients about their condition and care providers about treatment.

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