What’s Coming in Apple’s 2021 Health App Update?

Hi-tech health monitoring is a big thing for Apple, and some very interesting features were mentioned at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference, 2021.

Apple’s range of health tracking features gets a boost in the autumn, with three significant updates to the ways your wellbeing is monitored through your Apple Watch. Mobility data is already collected, but this will be augmented with a new Walking Steadiness feature. When walking, the Apple Watch captures data on how long each step is, how much time you spend with both feet on the ground, the time spent on each step and more. Walking Steadiness analyses this data and lets you know if your current walking is deviating significantly from your norm, which could signal an increased risk of falling. You’re also given strength-building exercises that help improve your walking behaviour.Lab results such as cholesterol measurements in the Health app, but the

forthcoming iOS 15 update also includes detailed explanations of these results that help you make necessary lifestyle changes and keep yourself in shape. A new feature called Trends records and alerts of long-term changes in data such as steps, resting heart rate, blood glucose (essential for diabetics), sleep and more. Changes in overall long-term trends are brought to your attention so you can, where necessary, do something about it.

Your Health app is packed with important and useful information about your overall wellness, so with iOS 15, you will be able to share this data with healthcare professionals. You choose which categories you wish to share, and can stop doing so at any time. It’s all shared securely; no one else, including Apple, can see it. Your doctor can then review your data on their own computer,  as long as they have a compatible electronic healthcare system. Several companies in the US are already on board, and we hope more join over time.If you’re looking out for someone else’s health as well as your own, maybe your children or elderly parents, look out for Health Sharing. This means that with their permission, you can share their data and receive alerts about their health as well as your own. Everything is encrypted and private, and you can choose which data categories are shared.

Expect these great new features in the autumn, with iOS 15.

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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