Apple Continues Health Drive With First CareKit Apps

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Open CareKit healthcare platform allows developers to create apps that can track and monitor health signs

Apple has detailed the first applications built on CareKit, a framework which allows developers to create apps that can track and monitor health information and then share that easily with doctors.

Among today’s new releases are One Drop, an app that helps diabetic users track their activity, food and medicine intake (pictured below), and Start, which users can utilise to track whether their antidepressants are working effectively.

Up to scratch

diabetes carekit appCareKit was revealed at Apple’s most recent keynote last month alongside the iPhone SE, and is separate from the company’s existing HealthKit and ResearchKit platforms.

The new framework allows users to manage ongoing health conditions, keeping track of treatment and symptoms, and transmit this directly to medical professionals.

CareKit currently has four modules that developers can use in their apps, with Apple hinting that more will come along soon.

This includes Care Card, a mobile care plan where people can check off recovery or treatment tasks, and Insight Dashboard, which reflects this progress by measuring your symptoms as treatment continues.

This progress can be monitored by the Symptom and Measurement Tracker module, which allows users to record their symptoms and how they’re feeling, like monitoring temperature for possible infections or measuring pain or fatigue. This can be inputted by simple data entry or surveys, or via photos that capture the progression of a wound, or by shaking or tapping the device to indicate a particular level of pain or sensitivity.

Lastly, the Connect module allows for all this information to be shared directly to medical professionals.

Apple health

The platform forms part of Apple’s attempts to learn more about its users and ensure those with health issues are able to use mobile devices to improve their quality of life.

Alongside CareKit is ResearchKit, another open-source framework which allows doctors and medical researchers to gather data more frequently from participants anywhere in the world, improving the accuracy of research and expanding the sample size.

A recent update as part of iOS 9.3 added a new module to ResearchKit that allows participants to submit their genetic data, allowing researchers to expand their projects.

A recent study by Ipsos Mori found that nearly three quarters (72 percent) of doctors have used or recommended an app, forum, or wearable technology device over the past year.

And the technology is forecast by many to be a long-lasting presence, with four in five doctors saying they thought health and lifestyle apps were here to stay,

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Author: Mike Moore
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