During today's "Let Us Loop You In" media event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, the company unveiled a new software framework called "CareKit" that will allow developers to build apps to "empower people to take on an active role in their care." iPhone apps that support the new framework will allow for users to easily track their symptoms and medication to help provide an overall wider view of their health.
The app will have a care card, symptom and measurement tracker, an insight dashboard, and the ability to share medical information with doctors and family members. Since CareKit will be open sourced, developers will be able to continue to iterate on the abilities of these first four modules designed by Apple.
• 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; and
• 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.
Apple also announced a few updates to its ResearchKit framework that will allow developers to incorporate the study of genetic data into iPhone apps. Among the new fields of study allowed by the updates are postpartum depression, cardiovascular disease, and asthma. ResearchKit studies continue to expand and are now being conducted in Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US.