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.
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.
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.
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.