Apple Unveils CareKit for Home Health Monitoring

While Twitter was ablaze about Apple’s announcement of a smaller, cheaper iPhone, another product debuted at the same company event Monday offered more excitement for the home health industry.

The tech giant announced CareKit, a new software network to enable monitoring of medical conditions at home with an iPhone. The product announcement included two initial applications with the capability to monitor patients with Parkinson’s disease and those who are discharged after a surgical procedure. The product also enables individuals to share information with nurses, doctors or family members to track health points and monitor symptoms.

“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,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Health and wellness developers across home health monitoring and other specific patient groups can utilize the platform to expand services to more patients and collect more essential data for better health outcomes.

The new framework will allow the developer community to continue building on the four modules already in place, according to Apple. These includes the physical therapy activities tracker Care Card, the symptoms progression monitor Symptom and Management Tracker, symptom mapper Insight Dashboard, and the communication capabilities in Connect.

The applications build off Apple’s ResearchKit, an open source framework that has enabled medical institutions to enroll patients to participate in studies and collect data through smartphone apps.

“We hope that CareKit will help us close the gap between our research finding and how we care for our Parkinson’s patients day-to-day,” Ray Dorsey, MD, David M. Leary professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a statement. “It’s opening up a whole new opportunity for the democratization of research and medicine.”

Written by Amy Baxter