Apple’s CareKit medical app development tools have launched today and the company has already started showing it off by announcing that three healthcare platforms have already gone live.
The idea behind CareKit is to help you use your phone to share data with the healthcare professionals who are managing your care.
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Its four core modules offer developers the ability to measure symptoms, chart the progress of treatment, create care plans and communicate with your medical team.
One Drop is a diabetes tracker that enables you to track glucose levels, food intake, medicines and activity in one place, all integrated with whatever other platforms you use to understand your condition.
Iodine’s Start app helps you understand your response to different drugs prescribed to treat depression, all of which can be shared direct with your doctor.
Glow, meanwhile, offers a number of different pregnancy and baby tracking tools.
All of the apps look super-smart, just like Apple would have wanted, and provide seamless integration with your iPhone.
Its next challenge is to get doctors on board with the platform as there obviously needs to be someone at the other end who’s waiting to use the data that can now be shared with them.
The responsibility of keeping your data safe currently resides with the developer of the app, who should anonymize any collected on its servers, and they are restricted from sharing it with third parties for mining or marketing purposes.
They are also not allowed to offer diagnosis or treatment unless their service has been approved by the relevant medical body.
CareKit joins HealthKit and ResearchKit in Apple’s suite of tools for the quantified self, but offers a focus on medical conditions rather than general health or clinical trials.
Although Apple’s sales numbers might be starting to tail off, it’s efforts like this that truly enclose existing users inside its ecosystem. It’s building a type of brand loyalty that is literally life and death.