Consumer electronics has brought digital health into the mainstream through wearables, a convergence powered by specially designed software such as Apple CareKit. A year since launch and recently updated, let’s take a look at its intriguing progress…
Last week Apple announced an update to CareKit, further increasing connectedness between consumers and their care teams by tweaking all four modules. As we shared in our initial overview, the developer kit features modules of code pre-loaded with capabilities that can be customized for specific apps, including:
Sensors in the iPhone and Apple Watch that track healthcare plans and action items such as medication adherence and physical therapy or exercise, then be integrated with the Connect module for sharing with others.
The iPhone accelerometer and gyroscope used to record and calculate physical activities to help identify symptoms that facilitate a diagnosis; body temperature is measured and monitored, and progression calculated with the help of surveys and photos.
A visual and intuitive interface maps the outputs from the Symptom and Measurement Tracker against the action items in the Care Card module to help convey the effectiveness of treatments and other therapies.
Empowers patients to specify with whom and how the information captured and calculated by the other modules is communicated with healthcare system stakeholders, including doctors, nurses, extended care teams, and family members.
CareKit 1.2 improves the user experience with more appealing and intuitive header views to better track health goals, and facilitates connectivity and integration through Apple’s new Cloud Bridge APIs. The company has even launched a prototyping tool enabling even those without coding experience to experiment with the new features.
This release introduces a new tab called Care Contents that allows you to combine activities from both the Care Card and Symptom Tracker all in one place. We’ve also made some updates that let you create optional or ready only activities. The optional activities do not contribute to a user’s daily completion goals and the new read only activities are great for displaying information that doesn’t require any action from the user.
Next Generation Apps
At launch, CareKit already showcased applications across healthcare, including clinical research, postsurgical care, chronic conditions, diabetes and depression, and maternal care. Since then, the SDK has provided an effective framework for delivering on the amazing potential of mobile health. Case in point, the collaboration between Boston Childrens’ Hospital and Duke Health System that resulted in “Caremap,” a prediatric health-tracking app.
Challenge: About half a million children across the US have complex medical needs, requiring frequent visits with multiple specialists at numerous clinics—not all of whom readily share information with each other. Solution: An app that tracks ten variables, including sleep, pain, food, mood, and bathroom habits, plus customizable metrics. Data is displayed visually to help discover behavioral patterns, which can then be shared and discussed with specialists.
Other cases abound, CareKit proving itself for stakeholders throughout the healthcare system. Interoperability with legacy systems, security, and other obstacles remain, but the precedent is promising and users are eager to embrace the tools and technology.
Next Generation Mobile Health Partner
No stranger to health apps, Klick Health has even developed one that created its own field of study. A leader in innovation and practical application, our Klick Labs team makes the astonishing possible, and the possible inevitable. Is your brand at the forefront of technology and opportunity? Call us to find out.