Tech giant Apple has revealed a new platform called CareKit, which allows developers to create healthcare apps that enable people to actively manage their own medical conditions using Apple devices.

CareKit adds to Apple’s ResearchKit, an open source platform focused on healthcare research data.

Apple says using CareKit will make it easier for individuals to keep track of their care plans; monitor symptoms and medication; and provide insights that help people better understand their own health.

Other uses include sharing photos of a wound or quantifying range of motion by using the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope.

“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,” said Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams.

“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,” continued Williams.

Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester are already using CareKit to turn the Parkinson’s mPower ResearchKit study into a valuable tool to help better inform patients about their condition and care providers about treatment.

“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,” said Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Ray Dorsey, MD.

Apple is also working with the Texas Medical Centre to produce an app that allows physicians to track post-surgery care for patients. And the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre will provide patients with more insight into their own chronic care management through home health monitoring devices that securely store data in HealthKit.

Apple said CareKit will be released in April 2016.

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