CareKit Is Apple's Ambitious New Health Monitoring and Tracking Tool

Illustration for article titled CareKit Is Apples Ambitious New Health Monitoring and Tracking Tool

Apple just introduced its most ambitious health product yet, an open-source app development platform called “CareKit.” It’s basically a way to help people keep track of their medical treatment, and to share information with doctors remotely.

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The first CareKit app is for people with Parkinson’s disease—it’s a tool to help track changes to their health over time, and to communicate with their medical professionals.

If this all sounds familiar, that makes sense—CareKit is an extension of ResearchKit, another open-source software framework Apple developed as a tool for medical researchers.

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It’s also quite similar to HealthKit, Apple’s original health-related software framework.

During the announcement, Apple’s Jeff Williams emphasized that you’ll be in control of where your data goes and who gets to see it, but didn’t provide any details about whether it’ll provide any additional security features to safeguard your health information. That’s something to keep an eye on in the future. After all, tools that make the healthcare system easier to navigate sound great—unless they leave your most private personal information vulnerable.

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CareKit will be available in April. Will it actually help people be healthy? I don’t know, but it will definitely help Apple collect biomedical data.

Senior writer at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

wonderzimms
WonderZimms

This’ll be fantastic when Apple shares your health data with your state’s health exchange. Well, right up until the moment that that health exchange is hacked and your medical information is now out there for anyone to see.

This is the problem for me: it’s not Apple’s encryption I’m worried about: it’s everyone else’s, and the end user has precious little control over where that data is shared.

Kudos to folks who want to use this, I guess. You be you, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just don’t be surprised when crap hits the fan.