Apple has been making progressive strides in the field of mHealth.
First, it was the introduction of the Health app, that gave an easy-to-read dashboard of health and fitness data. The accompanying HealthKit framework let developers make useful health and fitness apps that worked seamlessly with the device. So, it was now possible for data from a blood pressure app to be automatically shared with the doctor or for a nutrition app to tell a fitness app how many calories were consumed.
Then, came ResearchKit. This is an open source software framework that provides core functionality for developers to build mobile apps to use for medical research. ResearchKit apps can take advantage of the powerful sensors and processors that are standard with today’s smartphones, thus enabling researchers to gather new types of data. And by making the transition from a traditional pen and paper questionnaire to a more engaging and interactive one, ResearchKit apps enable researchers to exponentially increase the number of participants. Here are 52 things about Researchkit that you should know.
And now, CareKit. Apple’s latest software framework is designed so that developers can use it to enable people to actively manage their medical conditions. With the ubiquitous use of smartphones everywhere, CareKit enables people to take on a more active role where their individual health is concerned. And with easy sharing, be it with caregivers, family members, doctors and nurses, actionable insights is literally in their hands.
Yes, atleast right now, the caveat is that you own Apple devices. But, how does CareKit impact you and why should you care? Here are 3 reasons why :
1) It empowers you :
You literally take your well-being into your own hands. One of CareKit’s modules, Care Card helps people track their daily care schedule, from taking prescribed medication to completing exercises. These activities can be tracked using sensors. By acting as a to-do list, this technology can you help make sure you are taking care of yourself and adhering to a healthy and physician-prescribed regime.
2) It helps you manage chronic conditions :
With modules like CareKit’s ‘Symptom and Measurement Tracker’ and Insight Dashboard, users can now easily record symptoms, monitor their temperature or use photos to catalog progression or record activities through the accelerometer and gyroscope. This works very well to show how treatments are working like in the case of a post-surgery plan. Also, in the case of chronic conditions like diabetes, CareKit can help patients monitor their symptoms diligently and keep a watch for any worrying factors that need immediate attention.
3) It keeps you secure :
While all this relevant medical data is being collected, its impact and value can only be realized when it can be shared with physicians, caregivers, nurses and family. CareKit’s Connect module lets users do precisely that. Any change in condition can be quickly relayed to relevant people. For example, the EpiWatch app lets users send a notification to family or loved ones when they feel a seizure coming on. CareKit could be used in similar ways to help people feel connected to family and medical help whenever a health emergency arises.
CareKit is designed to provide insights that can help people better understand their own health. Instead of being passive viewers, people are becoming more active participants in their care . With control on the kind of information being collected in their devices and the security and the people with whom this is being shared, individuals are truly empowered.
Here is an infographic on how to build a succesful mHealth strategy.Click on the image to download your copy!