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Apple’s CareKit app helps patients manage their chronic pain

Posted on 05-27-16 in Health and Wellness, Self-help, Treatment

Apple’s CareKit app helps patients manage their chronic pain

According to the Institute of Medicine, about 116 million Americans suffer some sort of recurring pain. That’s more people than the entire population of the Philippines.

You’ve got an alarm to take your pills (the ones you take 30 minutes after a meal), and another reminder to take the other pills on an empty stomach. You’ve got a physical calendar to serve as the pain journal: what you ate, what the weather was and how you slept before pain onset. Handouts from physical therapy litter the junk drawer, and mail typically includes some request to participate in a research study on what ails you.

It’s hard to maintain equanimity with this regimen in addition to day-to-day life tasks; one almost has to add an alarm to enjoy life in between. Apple, in its iconic fashion, has an app for those managing chronic pain.

CareKit consolidates all tasks health-related

After a successful launch of the ResearchKit Program, an open-source software foundation upon which developers can build apps to facilitate mass research data collection, Apple has debuted CareKit. It is a similar platform that developers can use to design mobile apps for individuals to have an information and communication hub for their ailment at their fingertips.

CareKit also enables patients to share data with practitioners and need-to-know loved ones. The program has four modules:

  1. The Symptom and Measurement Tracking module allows users to journal symptoms and mind and body feelings. It can also filter quantitative data. A patient can keep their medical team up-to-date with simple surveys and photos capturing post-op or wound progression.
  1. Care Card helps people stay punctual on individual care plans and action items, such as taking medication or doing physical therapy exercises. Sensors in an Apple Watch or iPhone can track range of motion and temperature, as well as monitor and report pain levels to overseeing clinicians.
  1. The Insight Dashboard module illustrates symptoms and overlapping action items in the Care Card to show how treatments are working.
  1. A Connect module mediates sharing information with doctors or family members about the patients’ health and any fluctuation in his or her condition.

It may seem a daunting task, to take the reins from a pain that so abruptly bulldozes one’s life; but with mobile applications and mindfulness, those with chronic pain can renounce being governed by it and instead lead a purpose-driven life, navigating with wellness at the helm.

The Sovereign Health Group is mindful that each client and his or her need is unique; thus treatment must be holistic, tailored and comprehensive of both an addiction and any mental health conditions concurrently. Call our 24/7 helpline to learn more of our cutting-edge and customized approach to recovery.

About the author

Sovereign Health Group staff writer Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass. Her cover: a 30s-something Cinderella breadwinner of an all-sport blended family. Her repertoire includes writing poetry, lifestyle articles and TV news; editing, radio production and on-camera reporting. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at