Apple previewed advanced consumer health and wellness insights for users, as well as new tools for supporting loved ones.
Building on the current health features of iPhone and Apple Watch, iOS 15 gives users the ability to securely share their data with important people in their life, like a family member or physician, and receive insights into the health trends of their loved ones. Additionally, new tools in iOS 15 can be used to identify, measure, and understand changes in a person’s health data.
In the Health app, a new Sharing tab lets users privately share their data with a trusted partner or caregiver. Users have full control over which data they share and with whom, whether they’re an aging parent who shares their activity or heart health data with a family member, a partner who chooses to share their fertility window insights, or a person with Parkinson’s disease who wants to share their mobility data with a physical therapist. For the person receiving this information, shared data is presented with important insights and trends highlighted.
The Health app adds trend analysis for 20 types of data — ranging from resting heart rate to sleep to cardio fitness — so users can easily see how a given metric is progressing. A critical part of maintaining personal wellness is tracking changes in health, which can be subtle and easy to miss. For users looking to keep an eye on their data over time, Trends is a new way to intelligently and proactively highlight important changes, and surfaces the information in a way that’s easy to understand.
Currently, fall risk is assessed by a care provider through a questionnaire and an in-person evaluation. Walking Steadiness offers the added ability to capture everyday movements and surface classifications within the Health app as OK, Low, or Very Low, allowing users to proactively take action to help reduce their risk of falling. The feature uses custom algorithms to assess balance, stability, and coordination through built-in motion sensors on iPhone. This first-of-its-kind metric was established using real-world data from the Apple Heart and Movement Study, with more than 100,000 participants across all ages – the largest data set ever used to study fall risk.
Also, there’s the new enhanced labs experience in Health Records on iPhone, the ability to store one’s medical records of immunizations and test results directly in the Health app, as well as the earlier mentioned watchOS 8 features.
On the record
“This past year has emphasized the importance of health, and we’re enabling our users to take a more active role in their well-being. We’ve added powerful features that give users the most comprehensive set of insights to better understand their health trends over time,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Many people around the world are caring for someone, and we want to provide a secure and private way for users to have a trusted partner on their health journey. We’re excited to bring these innovative tools directly into users’ hands.”
The developer preview of iOS 15 is already available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month at beta.apple.com. New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 6s and later. Walking Steadiness will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 8 and later. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages, or on all devices.