First Apple CareKit Apps Go Live


Why interrupt your day with a visit to the doctor when you can track symptoms and medication and share data directly from your smartphone?

That's Apple's objective with CareKit—an open-source software framework that lets developers build apps to help people manage medical conditions.

Available today via Github, anyone can now integrate CareKit into their iOS apps; at least four apps have already done so. One Drop, a program for diabetes management, now lets users set management goals, track daily progress, and instantly share data with healthcare providers.

Similarly, Iodine's Start—a medication management service for people with depression—simplifies medication tracking, and hopes CareKit can help close the loop between the patient and the doctor.

"CareKit is a huge step forward for healthcare," Start developer Iodine said in a blog post. "It makes it easier for people to report their experience in a structured, meaningful format, and it makes it easier to connect our day-to-day experiences with our care team (doctors, nurses)."

Glow Nurture pregnancy tracker and Glow Baby early childhood monitor are also using CareKit to enable smart notifications about health updates. "Better and easier sharing of information with all caretakers—doctors, nurses, partners, parents, babysitters—is yet another important way to take control of one's health," Glow said in a blog post. "And that's what we're all about."

The Cleveland Clinic is expected to launch its own app for people with respiratory conditions like asthma, Fast Company reports.

Announced at last month's Apple event, the new platform is similar to HealthKit and ResearchKit, which can access data from the iOS Health app, making it easier for researchers to recruit participants for large-scale studies and access more representative samples of the population.

"We believe that giving individuals the tools to understand what is happening with their health is incredibly powerful, and apps designed using CareKit make this a reality by empowering people to take a more active role in their care," Apple COO Jeff Williams said in March.

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