A new app from the Boston Children's Hospital produced in conjunction with Duke University uses Apple's CareKit, and promises to simplify the medical data collation and distribution for parents with children with special medical needs.
The app, called Caremap, allows caregivers to securely store vital medical information, and share it not only with a patient's regular physician cadre, but with other health professionals either as part of extended care, or during an emergency. Beyond just diagnoses, the app also tracks health metrics allowing for easier long-term trend analysis by observers.
Families using Caremap can give medical providers critical information such as allergies, durable medical equipment needs, prescriptions taken, and emergency action plans, by showing them in the app or sending PDF snapshot through email.
Day to day, families can track parameters like exercise, mood, seizure frequency, pain, and sleep — and add custom metrics of their choice, like school attendance, mood disruptions, or temper tantrums. All of the collected data can be graphed, and shared with others using the CareKit Connect module.
"Effectively managing communication between numerous providers who care for a child with medical complexity can be a full time job for parents," said Caremap clinical advisor and director of Duke Children's Complex Care Service David Y. Ming, MD. "So much effort is required to keep track of the details that often the bigger picture' perspective can get overlooked. The priority with Caremap is not only to organize relevant clinical details, but also to highlight the overall care goals."
Data is stored in the app, locally on the device. At present, it is only possible to track one child in the app, but the developers state that they are working on the ability to track multiple patients.
An AppleInsider staffer has a child with complex medical needs, and after a brief period of assessment has declared that the app can easily replace a "tattered 100-page binder" that has been carried from appointment to appointment over the last decade.
The Carekit app is free, occupies 66.3MB of storage space which expands with use of the app, and requires iOS 9.3 or later.
Apple announced CareKit in the spring of 2016 as an extension of ResearchKit. While ResearchKit was intended to help create apps that enabled medical researchers to gather and analyze health related data from study participants, CareKit — in response to practitioners' requests — was created to help individuals better manage their own medical conditions.
Other CareKit apps have more specific foci, and specialize on managinging chronic conditions like diabetes that require tracking of symptoms such as pain, hunger and dizziness as well as monitoring glucose levels.