Get to know the ResearchKit and CareKit “cousins” better, and their powers over global health

Get to know the ResearchKit and CareKit “cousins” better, and their powers over global health

We have already announced the launch of the CareKit which drew great attention at Apple’s latest special event, a platform that allows developers to create user health care apps, making Apple devices even more important including health management capabilities like taking medications, doing physical therapy exercises, monitor the temperature and more, since some activities can be tracked by the iPhone or the Apple Watch.

CareKit fits like a “cousin” to ResearchKit, launched last year, which collaborated with large-scale research using iOS devices focused on, for example, Parkinson's disease, identification of asthma in 50 American states, determination of subsets of Type 2 Diabetes and more. ResearchKit is a strong tool for science, and with this progress, Apple has identified that there are more areas in which its devices could help.

cones - ResearchKit and CareKit

CareKit fits the same idea as it does on an individual basis, “empowering users with tools that help them monitor their health”. Applications developed with CareKit make this a reality in the hands of users, "empowering them to take a more active role in their care," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

The platform will be launched in April, but at the event Apple demonstrated applications in which early access was made available to developers, such as some applications that monitor the effectiveness of medications against Parkinson's disease or that help users who use antidepressants, assisting in the monitoring of effectiveness of your medications check the full list of apps on the official page.

In partnership with the largest medical center in the world, Texas Medical Center, Apple is developing an app for the monitoring of post-operative care that many people end up not following correctly the important treatment completely and also replacing a stack of papers. But the news doesn't stop there; there is still the Care Card, which promises a control in addition to medications / physical therapies, allowing users to measure their symptoms, reminders for medications, avoid some foods and even send photos that illustrate healing processes to doctors including the so-called Connect, which allows the sharing of information between patients, doctors or their family members and many other news.

ResearchKit and oCareKit are two great moves by Apple, consolidating a great effort for digital health mainly by proposing new solutions and collaborating on a large scale for research in the field. ResearchKit has already helped to gather a lot of important data since asthma outbreaks and now trying to find a cure for Parkinson's disease. Apple devices will be able to help even more doctors to care for their patients and their daily realities, becoming even greater partners in daily follow-ups, transformed into more than extensions and gathering data on diseases, therapies, heartbeat and users' breathing .

Taking a ride with Apple's dispute with the FBI (which has cooled a lot but hasn't died yet), CareKit is also still one of the best arguments and a great incentive to improve encryption on iOS. Nowadays, devices are able to obtain various information about their users in some cases, with even greater knowledge than the users themselves about themselves. With that, Apple has one more weapon to defend the security / privacy of its consumers against this type of threat.

The type of information contained in CareKit cannot be passed on to anyone and users must be aware of the information path. We are not talking about private messages or photos, but an intimate record of your health. Therefore, greater security is required and, therefore, this type of information cannot be sent or received without strong encryption. Apple gives total control of privacy to the user what and with whom to share.

iPhones and Apple Watches are already great accessories to help control our health with its various sensors, not to mention the great documentation offered by Apple, frameworks and much more. CareKit has, like ResearchKit, its code all open for developers to create apps of the most diverse. Still with a great tendency of evolution, and with no limits on how useful iOS and technology in general can become for global health, the tools are coming and will be delivered in the hands of developers to make the magic happen.

We'll see what comes next.

(via MacNN)