Apple has announced that its mobile software framework for health apps, CareKit, is going live with four health apps via GitHub’s open-source community from today.

CareKit is designed to allow developers to create health apps that enable people to actively manage their medical conditions.

Apple announced the open-source software development platform in March 2016 with the aim to make it easier for developers to build health apps on iOS devices.

According to TechCrunch, CareKit will integrate with four iPhone apps, including fertility tracker Glow Nurture; maternity app Glow Baby; diabetes monitoring app One Drop; and Iodine’s depression medication tracker, Start.

CareKit is an open-source tool that works in a similar way to Apple’s ResearchKit, a tool enabling developers to pull in large amounts of research data over iOS devices. The CareKit platform integrates with health apps to help patients manage treatment and can also be used to help doctors monitor progress.

Developers choose from a variety of integrations from monitoring symptoms, sending images of a wound, or keeping an eye on a medication schedule.

CareKit can help doctors keep tabs on patients but it also empowers the patient to watch their own progress over time and take action.

Iodine Co-founder, Thomas Goetz, demonstrated how this might work on his Start app with a built-in drug adherence feedback loop, reported TechCrunch. The adherence tool uses CareKit to nudge patients dealing with depression with information to help them understand how their medication should work as they continue taking it.

“Depression and pain medications don’t work one out of three times and using CareKit can help determine if the medicine will work for you,” Goetz told TechCrunch.

Glow’s Nurture and Baby apps integrate CareKit to send a PDF of progress to a user’s doctor, partner or other caregivers. For instance, if a baby has had a low fever and a rash for a few days and the parents have been logging those symptoms on Glow Baby, the app uses CareKit to send that information to the physician with just a tap.

Apple’s ResearchKit has led to some significant gains in epilepsy and asthma research and CareKit has the same opportunity to make a difference in health care with more than one billion iPhones in people’s pockets.

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