Apple announced CareKit on Monday, a new, open-source software framework designed to help app developers in the medical care space enable people to actively manage their own medical conditions. The press release states that:
“[A]pps 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.”
According to the press release, CareKit is not an app itself but rather a software developer kit, or SDK, that can be used by the developer community to create apps. As such, general users of Apple’s products won’t directly use CareKit, but in the near future those with specific health needs may find themselves using third-party software designed using Apple’s new platform. Apple’s press release indicates that apps already being built using this SDK. These include apps for Parkinson’s disease patients, post-surgery progress, managing chronic health conditions, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health and maternal health.
According to the press release, CareKit will be released as an open source framework allowing the developer community to build on the first four modules designed by Apple. Apple’s existing modules include: (1) Care Card for helping people track individual care plans and action items; (2) Symptom and Measurement Tracker for recording patient symptoms; (3) Insight Dashboard for mapping symptoms in the Symptom and Measurement Tracker against the action items in the Care Card to show how treatments are working; and (4) Connect for sharing of information and communication with care providers.