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Apple's new CareKit platform will bring new apps for improving health

The new health platform was announced at Apple's special March 21 event in Cupertino.

Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

Apple on Monday announced CareKit, an open source framework that will help developers build apps that aid in improving health and wellness of users. These will be different from the current crop of health and fitness apps that are available in the App Store. CareKit apps will be designed to help patients better understand and manage their medical conditions.

The first CareKit app is for Parkinson's disease. It will be used at six major medical centers, including Johns Hopkins, Stanford, University of California at San Francisco, Emory, University of Rochester and Parkinson's Disease Care, New York. The app will help patients with Parkinson's disease track their health changes and allow them to share data with their doctor on the fly.

Texas Medical Center is also working on a CareKit app to help patients after surgery. The app will feature a post-operation check list to help patients track their symptoms, medications and recovery process.

The CareKit app development platform is similar to Apple's Research Kit, a platform to help conduct and improve medical research on a mass scale. Research Kit, which was announced last March, allows medical professionals to build apps and collect data about patients in an easy and consistent manner.

Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, revealed that there have been more than 20 medical studies launched on the platform to date, including the world's largest Parkinson's study.

Williams also noted that users will have complete control over their personal health information. You will be able to decide which apps can access to the data, what it is used for and who to share it with.

This is a developing story. Follow CNET's Apple live blog and see all of today's Apple news.