CareKit: Apple’s New Open-Source Health App Platform

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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.

Apple’s press release is available here, and more information about CareKit is available here.

Lauren Hockett
Lauren Hockett is an associate in our San Diego office. She focuses on patent prosecution in various mechanical fields and the medical device industry, prosecution for design patents, and intellectual property due diligence. Ms. Hockett received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law. During law school, she served with the Street Law organization, providing practical, participatory education to youth in a local juvenile detention center about the criminal justice system and constitutional rights. Before attending law school, Ms. Hockett attended Stanford University and received a B.S. in Product Design Engineering, a program which closely follows the mechanical engineering curriculum while adding studies in ergonomics and aesthetics as well as incorporating classes from a wide range of other engineering disciplines such as materials science, electrical engineering, and computer science. While at Stanford, she worked with the patents team at a multinational internet information and software company. Ms. Hockett worked as a summer associate at the firm in 2010 and joined the firm as an associate in 2011.
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