CareKit’s Strong Suit may be Peer Support Apps

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Apple introduced its CareKit platform in March, and now apps that take advantage of its features are rolling out on the App Store. The first four apps tasking advantage of CareKit are Glow Nurture, Glow Baby, One Drop, and Start. That's great for doctors, but could be even bigger for health and fitness apps and peer support.

CareKit apps hit the App StoreCareKit apps hit the App Store

CareKit is an open source platform from Apple developers can use to create apps that let users track and manage medical conditions. Users can track medications, symptoms, and more, and share that data with their doctor—assuming your doctor has made the move to the digital age.

Glow Nurture and Glow Baby from Glow let parents track their pregnancy and first year of their baby's life. They can share the information with their doctors, other family members, their midwife, and even babysitters.

One Drop tracks data from diabetes patients that can be shared with doctors, or anonymously shared with other patients.

Start is designed to help users deal with depression. The app tracks user's status and progress, and can send the information and PHQ-9 score (the clinical measurement for depression) to their doctor. For doctors who aren't technology-savvy, Start can send patient's data old-school via FAX.

What sets CareKit apart from HealthKit is its goal setting and sharing features, and that could be a big thing for the platform. Where HealthKit as a whole has seen modest growth, CareKit may gain a wider adoption because it sharing data beyond your doctor. CareKit could find a place in peer accountability for weight loss, exercise, and other fitness programs—and that may have a much broader appeal than medical programs.

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