The Longevity

Our bodies, ourselves: How CareKit apps will revolutionize health care

Apple took the wraps off the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro at its “Loop Me In” event on March 21, but the company’s most revelatory launch of the spring isn’t new hardware. It’s the open-source framework CareKit, which is poised to transform the future of health care.

If you’re anything like me, you go to the doctor for a check-up once a year. In the 364 days between visits, any number of things happen that we forget about—nothing medically major, but changes in exercise routine, diet, and stress levels that can be significant when taken as a whole. Maybe they just don’t seem important enough to mention to a doctor. But with the help of health-tracking iOS apps, we have all of that data at our fingertips. CareKit takes that information and makes it actionable, and, perhaps more importantly, shareable with your doctor.

The first wave of CareKit-integrated apps hits the App Store in April, each using the framework in different ways. Apple has developed four modules to start: A Care Card, which acts as kind of a health to-do list; a symptom and measurement tracker for reporting your data; an Insight Dashboard so you can see how the action items on the Care Card are affecting your health; and a Connect tab for sharing that data with anyone: your partner, your family, or your physician.