MD Acne CEO says Apple’s CareKit is a ‘game changer’

Earlier this year, Apple quietly announced a new open sourced platform – called “CareKit” - that helps app developers build software focused around healthcare and patient data. The move provides Apple with the first point of contact to connect patients, doctors and caregivers using technology.

Apple worked behind closed doors with three startups - Iodine, One Drop and Glow – but those health tech startups only exchanged patient data with doctors. MD Acne became the first mobile app to allow physicians to see actual images sent directly from a patient’s phone, according to MD Acne CEO Oded Harth. Use this free app to get free immediate dermatologist based analysis and advice for your Acne.

Apple World Today recently interviewed Harth about how MD Acne used Apple’s technology in its work.

AWT: How did MDacne work with Apple in creating the MDacne Carekit Integration?

Harth: MDacne is the first app in the Apple App Store that implements image analysis and artificial intelligence to help people with Acne. A few weeks after launching, it was the number one acne app in the U.S. app store, attracting Apple’s attention. Once we started to implement the Apple Carekit framework, the Apple Carekit team suggested its help and decided to feature us on its website.

AWT: Was it easy to work with CareKit?

Harth: Apple’s Carekit framework is improving at a fast pace. The Carekit team was very attentive and easy to work with, allowing easy implementation and connectivity.

AWT: You say CareKit a “game changer” for the health care industry. What exactly do you mean?

Harth: We do believe the CareKit is a game changer. Our goal at MDAlgorithms is to provide the stepping stone to everybody looking for a solution for skin disorders.  Starting with MDacne our mobile app provides our users immediate skin analysis and immediate customized skin treatment routine together with a long term monitoring and engagement program. Our app places the patient in the center, allowing effective self-treatment. In case the user needs a dermatologist’s advice or prescription medicines, the Carekit connectivity steps in and allows one-click sharing of a patient’s skin status with professionals.

AWT: You say CareKit will provide a new source of revenue for Apple? How so?

Harth: It seems that health integration is one of the main long term targets of Apple. We’re seeing the start of a major revolution in the way people look for health information. Twenty years ago the only option was to visit a doctor; in the last decade the first option has changed to a web search.

However, although web information is easily accessible, it’s not personal and is frequently biased and commercial. People are increasingly looking for solutions for their health concerns on mobile apps. A new breed of smart apps such as MDacne allow for the first time, customized health help based on real life

If Apple succeeds in becoming the leading hub to these new type of smart sensor based mobile health apps, this can rapidly become a major income stream of the company. We believe that in addition to building great tools a such as CareKit, Apple should promote its self as the leading mobile health portal.

 AWT: Exactly how does MDacne work?

Harth: MDacne uses cutting edge technological abilities of the iPhone that were not possible 1-2 years ago. To accurately amylase the user skin in split seconds, the app takes advantage of the high processing power of the device and the recently improved image capture abilities of the “selfie” camera. Upon opening the app, the user is asked to input a few details about her/his acne and take a quick photo of her/his face.

Through digital image analysis, the MDacne app analyzes the user’s acne type and severity and, based on its proprietary algorithm, provides a personalized acne treatment plan. It also offers step-by-step dermatologist video tutorials on topics such as how to properly wash your face, what foods to eat in order to prevent acne, and how to properly uses the various treatment modalities. The app use selfies and image analysis to monitor each person’s progress and send daily acne tips. In its latest release MDacne allows users to post a question about acne and get a board certified dermatologist response in less than 72 hours.

Using image analysis and AI, MDacne analyses Acne-prone skin and provides real time information about the Acne type and severity together with a custom personal acne treatment plan. It will allow acne suffers to receive medical treatment from their doctors using computer vision imaging sent from their mobile app.