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Apple advances personal health by introducing secure sharing and new insights

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | June 08, 2021 Health IT

Trends

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.

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Users can also keep tabs on goals, like increasing running distance or mindful minutes. For those looking to monitor insights across areas like insulin delivery, trend analysis applies to data from third-party devices connected to the Health app.

With optional notifications, Trends can highlight long-term changes in health, so a user can celebrate progress toward a goal, or discuss with a doctor or care team.

Walking Steadiness

More than 37 million people each year require medical attention as a result of a fall, which can often be a tipping point for more serious conditions and a loss of independence.1 Walking Steadiness on iPhone is an industry first, providing insight into fall risk by capturing important mobility data as users walk with their iPhone. 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.

Walking Steadiness 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.

In addition to alerting users of possible fall risk, Walking Steadiness helps users meet their stability goals. Users can choose to receive a notification when their score is Low or Very Low, and be directed to curated visual exercises that are based on clinically validated methods to increase strength and balance.

Privacy

Privacy is fundamental in the design and development across all of Apple’s health features. Health data is under a user’s control, with granular control over which data types they choose to share and with whom. Data is encrypted when in transit and while at rest on a user’s device when locked behind a passcode, Face ID®, or Touch ID®. Apple does not have access to this information when a user chooses to share it with a loved one or doctor.

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