Apple CareKit launches to help people actively manage their health


HealthKit, ResearchKit and now CareKit — Apple is set to conquer the mHealth market. The new software framework is designed to help developers enable people to actively manage their own medical conditions.

Apps using CareKit will be able to provide insights that help people better understand their own health, with the option to share information with doctors, nurses or family members.

“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,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, said in a statement. “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 with a set of four modules.Like that was the case with ResearchKit, 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:

First comes the Care Card, which helps people track their individual care plans and action items, such as taking medication or completing physical therapy exercises. Also, activities can automatically be tracked and entered using sensors in Apple Watch or iPhone.

The second module, Symptom and Measurement Tracker, lets users record their symptoms and how they’re feeling, and get progress updates with surveys, photos and activities calculated by using iPhone’s built-in sensors.

The third module, Insight Dashboard, maps symptoms against the action items in the Care Card to easily show how treatments are working; and fourth — 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.

With the new platform launch, Apple also announced initial batch of partners that have already integrated these CareKit modules into their apps. Among those that are updating their apps to sing along the new platform are Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester (mPower ResearchKit study), Texas Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, One Drop, Iodine (Start), and Glow (Glow Nurture).