Apple announces CareKit to help folks take an active role in their health care

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, Initiatives, took the stage at today’s “Let Us Loop You In” event, to introduce CareKit, a new tool for assisting people in taking an active role in their care. The first CareKit app will be for Parkinson's.  

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, says Williams. With the ability to share information with doctors, nurses or family members, CareKit apps help people take a more active role in their health, he adds.

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.

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.

Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester are using CareKit to turn the mPower ResearchKit study into a tool to help better inform patients about their condition and care providers about treatment, says Williams. The Texas Medical Center is designing apps to guide and support care pathways for its eight million patients to improve their health through enhanced connectivity with their care teams.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will provide patients with more insight into their own chronic care management through home health monitoring devices that securely store data in HealthKit. One Drop is empowering people with a better approach to managing their diabetes.

Start, by Iodine, helps people on antidepressants understand if their medication is working for them or not, and helps their doctors deliver more informed care. Glow, Inc. will incorporate CareKit modules into its pregnancy app, Glow Nurture, to guide women through a healthier pregnancy.