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Apple creates open source personal health app software

Will release CareKit framework later in the Spring 

Apple CareKit iPhone app 

Apple has developed new open source software that will allow developers to more easily build apps that help individuals manage their health and well-being.

The company says that iPhone apps using its new CareKit software will allow physical therapy exercises to be tracked using Apple Watch or iPhone sensors and surveys to record symptoms.

CareKit will also provide an 'Insight Dashboard' will map symptoms to show how treatments are working.

It builds on Apple's closely related to ResearchKit technology, which was released last year and allows iPhone users to more easily participate in medical research.

Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said: “We're thrilled with the profound impact ResearchKit has already had on the pace and scale of conducting medical research, and have realised that many of the same principles could help with individual care.

“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.” 

CareKit won't be fully released until next month, but early adopters are already using it to build apps for Parkinson's patients, post-surgery progress, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health and maternal health.

They include the Texas Medical Center - which is designing apps to guide and support care pathways, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which providing patients with more insight into chronic care management through home health monitoring devices that securely store data in HealthKit.

Also involved are Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester, which have used CareKit within their mPower ResearchKit study as a way to better inform patients about their condition and health care providers about treatment.

Ray Dorsey, the David M Levy Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said: “With ResearchKit, we quickly realised the power of mobile apps for running inexpensive, high-quality clinical studies with unprecedented reach.

“We hope that CareKit will help us close the gap between our research findings and how we care for our Parkinson's patients day-to-day. It's opening up a whole new opportunity for the democratisation of research and medicine.”

Since its launch last year the ResearchKit-run mPower app has enrolled over 10,000, which Apple says makes it the largest ever Parkinson's study. The company also notes that 93% of participants in the study said it was the first time they had taken part in any kind of research.

22nd March 2016

From: Healthcare

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