Apple is gearing up to launch CareKit next month, an open-source software framework designed to help developers enable people to actively manage their own medical conditions.

Apps using CareKit will make it easier for individuals to keep track of care plans and monitor symptoms and medication, providing insights that help people better understand and take a more active role their own health, the tech giant said. 

The first four modules designed by Apple are: Care Card, which helps people track their individual care plans and action items, such as taking medication or completing physical therapy exercises; Symptom and Measurement Tracker, which lets users easily record their symptoms and how they’re feeling, such as monitoring temperature or pain; Insight Dashboard, which maps symptoms against the action items in the Care Card to easily show how treatments are working; and Connect, to facilitate information sharing and communication with healthcare professionals or family members about health and any change in condition.

The move rides on the success of Apple’s ResearchKit, a framework for developing medical research apps launched last year.

“We’re thrilled with the profound impact ResearchKit has already had on the pace and scale of conducting medical research, and have realised that many of the same principles could help with individual care,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. 

“We believe that giving individuals the tools to understand what is happening with their health is incredibly powerful, and apps designed using CareKit make this a reality by empowering people to take a more active role in their care.” 

Developers of health and wellness apps are excited to build these CareKit modules into apps for Parkinson’s patients, post-surgery progress, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health and maternal health, according to Apple.

“We hope that CareKit will help us close the gap between our research findings and how we care for our Parkinson’s patients day-to-day,” said Ray Dorsey, Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “It’s opening up a whole new opportunity for the democratisation of research and medicine.”