We live in a world that relies on connectivity.

Cell phones have become an intrinsic part of our daily lives.

For some people, their cell phone is the first thing they see in the morning and the last thing they see at night.

In recent years, there’s been an increased curiosity about whether or not people’s constant connection to cell phones can have a negative effect on their health.

Apple has developed a new software, called CareKit that has the potential to give them a strong presence in the fitness and healthcare industries.

Creators hope CareKit will encourage users to track, manage and “understand their health in ways they never have before” just by using it on their smartphone, according to the Apple website.
The new software was designed to help users to effectively manage their own medical conditions. It isn’t just a calorie intake and exercise tracker.

The technology goes further in-depth by allowing users to keep track of care plans and monitor their symptoms and reactions to medications.

Apple hopes the software will eliminate confusion that some users have when it comes to evaluating their medical information, according to their website.

Sending an e-mail, making a call, listening to music and even finding your current location can be done using nothing but a cell phone. The convenience of carrying a cell phone applies to many people.

PSUC junior fitness and wellness major Mike Smith said his frequent cell phone use is something he isn’t proud of, but he has become accustomed to it in the technologically dependent world we live in.

“My cell phone is within 10 feet of me at all times,” he said. “Whether I’m using it or not, I just feel more comfortable with it being close.”

For some students, having a busy schedule could make being active and monitoring their personal health a complicated and time consuming task.

The software does the work of several apps in one, which could save time and energy for users that have a time restrictive schedule.

For some students, playing music is the main purpose of their cell phone use during their time at the gym, but because of the new technology that allows users to monitor physical changes in their body, users could track their fitness progress and compare other medical information.

“I have a FitBit, and I think like any other product it has it’s advantages and disadvantages,” Smith said. “If CareKit can provide me with more information all in one place I would definitely consider it, it would make my life a little easier.”

The multi-purpose design of CareKit gives users an inside look into how versatile smart phone technology can be.

PSUC sophomore computer science major Ju Kim said because CareKit could apply to so many different facets of health, it could eventually become a major name in the fitness technology industry.
“Imagine one day (when you could) just use your phone to take your temperature or test your blood if you have diabetes,” she said.

“I know the diabetes part sounds a little crazy, but I just don’t want to put a limit on what this thing can do.”

CareKit isn’t just for tracking physical fitness and keeping a collection of medical data.

The technology is also being built into apps for Parkinson’s patients, post-surgery progress, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health and maternal health, according to the Apple website.

Nurses aid Melanie Grenier, who works all around the North Country said CareKit could change the way patient communicate with healthcare professionals.

“Having to give a list of symptoms can be challenging for some patients,” she said. “They are so focused on remembering all of their major symptoms they can sometimes overlook small changes that can signify serious issues.”

Grenier said the technology could allow patients to keep better documentation of symptoms and progress that will, in turn, allow their caregivers to take a more organized approach to diagnostics and treatment.

Carekit will be released as an “open source framework,” for the general public to test out next month, according to the Apple website.

Email Madison Winters at madison.winters@cardinalpointsonline.com

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<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/madison-winters/" rel="tag">Madison Winters</a>