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Apple's CareKit helps patients better manage their illnesses

The open-source development framework will be available next month.

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During its "Loop You In" event today, Apple revealed a new way for people -- and their doctors -- to better manage their health. Building off of its successful ResearchKit program, the company debuted CareKit, what Apple COO Jeff Williams described as "a framework to build apps that empower people to use data to understand their health."

The open-source development platform will launch next month with four basic modules. "Care Cards" will act like interactive to-do lists, helping people remember to, well, do stuff -- like take medication or perform physical therapy exercises, and track their goals using their iPhone or Apple Watch.

The Symptoms and Measurement Tracker, meanwhile, will enable users to record feedback regarding how they feel and how well they're recovering. For example, users might take photos to record the progress of a wound healing or use their phone's accelerometer and gyroscope to measure a limb's range of motion. Additionally, the so-called Insight Dashboard module can compare a patient's symptoms against the Care Cards to ensure that the person's treatment is effective while the Connect module allows people to share all this data with their doctor.

Apple has already teamed up with a number of medical centers and app developers to begin incorporating CareKit functionality into their treatments. Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester are already using it to monitor the progression of Parkinson's Disease in patients. The Texas Medical Center, meanwhile, is using it to help surgery patients better manage their recovery.

Get all the news from today's iPhone event right here!

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