Mar 24

Apple® makes a big move in healthcare


apple2 (1 of 1)This week Apple®  launched CareKit™, a new developer tool that will make it easier to build healthcare apps for iOS devices. The open-source platform will be available in April and should work similarly to ResearchKit, but will focus on patient care.  Apple introduced ResearchKit  last year and are very happy with their success. “We’re thrilled with the profound impact ResearchKit has already had on the pace and scale of conducting medical research, and have realized that many of the same principles could help with individual care,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “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.”

3 Applications Apple report they are developing in CareKit

  • 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 an 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.
  • 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.

3 lessons we have learned about applications in healthcare

  • Applications will have the biggest impact when the data entered into them is quality data and trusted by the healthcare provider.
  • Electronic transfer of data between the patient and healthcare provider’s digital records still seems a long way off.
  • Privacy and Security of the information on the device needs to be paramount.


While Apple’s focus is patient care, a great initiative also exists for application developers focused on healthcare providers. The SMART Health IT is an application platform that enables developers to create apps that seamlessly and securely run across the healthcare provider records such as electronic medical records or data warehouse that support the SMART standard.

The challenge will now be for the patient focused and healthcare provider applications to be able to digitally communicate and transfer data when required.



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