Apple has announced the release of the very first apps made using its Carekit framework, The Verge reports.
CareKit, which was unveiled in March, is a software platform on which apps can be built to monitor and track a person’s health. They can then facilitate the sharing of consumer health information with doctors or a consumer’s friends and family.
The four apps Apple launched Thursday include one that will help users manage their diabetes, and one that tracks depression symptoms.
CareKit is Apple’s big play for the consumer mobile health (mHealth) market. The mHealth solutions market — of which health apps account for roughly 20% — is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 33.4% over the next four years to reach $59.2 billion in 2020, according to Markets and Markets.
The biggest markets on a regional basis are North America and Europe, both of which house large shares of iOS devices. This gives Apple ample opportunity to capitalize on this market. While Apple has released a similar healthcare service in HealthKit, Carekit differs in that its not meant for research purposes, but for allowing users, and their doctors, to track health statistics.
A key part of breaking into this market will be getting health professionals such as doctors on board. Physicians tend to be skeptical of technology that reduces the amount of patient face time they receive, according to New York University biomedical ethicist Arthur Caplan.
Furthermore, in 2013, 20% of doctors in the US still weren’t using digitized health records. While that number has surely increased since, it’s an indication of how slowly the medical field has been so far to adopt new technology.