Apple jumps into healthcare

(The Verge) On April 28th Apple announced the release of the very first apps made using CareKit, an open software platform that lets developers create iPhone apps that can help people manage various medical conditions and share information with their doctors. Among the four apps released today is one that helps users manage their diabetes, and one that people can use to track symptoms of depression. For Apple, the move signals the company’s first real step into the realm of true health care, as opposed to scientific research or simple health tracking. But given that 20 percent of US doctors still haven’t started using electronic health records, it’s unclear what sort of impact CareKit will have on the health care industry as a whole.

CareKit shares some resemblance withHealthKit, the platform that lets developers tap into the iPhone’s sensors to gather various health metrics, and ResearchKit, which gives scientists the ability recruit participants for scientific studies run through the iPhone. Like its predecessors, apps made through CareKit often let people track their activity levels, weight, or even their food intake. But CareKit apps aren’t designed for research or for simple health tracking. At their core, they’re geared toward people who want to keep track of specific symptoms or their medical progress. But the biggest differentiator by far is this: CareKit apps aren’t just for consumers. They’re also designed to be attractive to doctors who might want to keep an eye on their patients remotely.

Apple is releasing the CareKit framework to all developers.

Read more at The Verge.

By Arielle Duhaime-Ross

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