Apple Improved its Health App for iOS 16



Apple announced that iOS 16 brings a new way to manage, understand, and track your medications, enhancements to Health Sharing, and big updates to Sleep. The Health app was created to help organize your important health information and make it easy to access in a central and secure place.

The Health app puts important information at your fingertips, including health records, medications, labs, activity, and sleep. And it makes it simple to securely share that information. Health collects health and fitness data from your iPhone, the built-in sensors on your Apple Watch, compatible third-party devices, and apps that use HealthKit.

The Health app is built to keep your data secure and protect your privacy. Apple says your data is encrypted and that you are always in control of your health information.

One of the things I found very interesting about the iOS 16 Health updates involves medications. Apple describes it this way:

Health can give you information on medications you’re taking, like what they’re used for, how they work, potential side effects, and drugs interactions. You can receive an alert if there is a critical interaction with medications you’re taking, which can make a medication less effective or cause unexpected and potentially dangerous side effects. You can also learn if there could be side effects from consuming alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana with your medications.

In addition, Apple has added a way for you to be reminded to log your medications, vitamins, and supplements on your iPhone or on your wrist with Apple Watch. It also allows you to securely share your medication information with loved ones. Apple describes it this way:

With the Medications app on Apple Watch, you can get convenient and discreet reminders so you can quickly log medications. You can view charts and highlights in the Health app on iPhone and see more detailed information about when and how consistently you take your medications.

Personally, I can see where this feature can be extremely useful. For example, I have a lot of allergies. On days when I am feeling especially sick from pollen (and/or other allergens) there is a good chance I would forget to take my medication on time. Having my iPhone not only remind me to take it, but also to let me mark the medication as “skipped” or “taken” could make it a lot easier for me to track my medications and supplements.

Both the Interactions feature, and the Medications feature, are currently listed on Apple’s website as “Coming Soon”. We’re going to have to wait a bit before being able to access them.

Apple also updated Mobility, a feature that tracks your mobility metrics. Those metrics can be viewed on Apple Watch and iPhone. You can get alerts if your walking steadiness is low or very low and you’re at an increased risk of falling. I can see where this feature would be important for people who have disabilities that interfere with their ability to walk. Apple describes Mobility this way:

You can view mobility like cardio fitness, walking speed, how fast you climb and descend stairs, and an estimate of your six-minute walk test. You can also get a general assessment of your walking steadiness, classified as OK, low, or very low, just by walking with your iPhone. This would traditionally require a visit to a specialty clinic where you would fill out a questionnaire and have your balance, stability, and risk of falling assessed.

To me, it sounds like Apple put in the effort to make the iPhone and Apple Watch have more functionality for people who have disabilities (myself included). Apple’s iOS 16 brings a new way to manage, understand, and track your medications, enhancements to Health Sharing, and big updates to Sleep. The Health app was created to help organize your important health information and make it easy to access in a central and secure place.

The Health app puts important information at your fingertips, including health records, medications, labs, activity, and sleep. And it makes it simple to securely share that information. Health collects health and fitness data from your iPhone, the built-in sensors on your Apple Watch, compatible third-party devices, and apps that use HealthKit.

The Health app is built to keep your data secure and protect your privacy. Apple says your data is encrypted and that you are always in control of your health information.

One of the things I found very interesting about the iOS 16 Health updates involves medications. Apple describes it this way:

Health can give you information on medications you’re taking, like what they’re used for, how they work, potential side effects, and drugs interactions. You can receive an alert if there is a critical interaction with medications you’re taking, which can make a medication less effective or cause unexpected and potentially dangerous side effects. You can also learn if there could be side effects from consuming alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana with your medications.

In addition, Apple has added a way for you to be reminded to log your medications, vitamins, and supplements on your iPhone or on your wrist with Apple Watch. It also allows you to securely share your medication information with loved ones. Apple describes it this way:

With the Medications app on Apple Watch, you can get convenient and discreet reminders so you can quickly log medications. You can view charts and highlights in the Health app on iPhone and see more detailed information about when and how consistently you take your medications.

Personally, I can see where this feature can be extremely useful. For example, I have a lot of allergies. On days when I am feeling especially sick from pollen (and/or other allergens) there is a good chance I would forget to take my medication on time. Having my iPhone not only remind me to take it, but also to let me mark the medication as “skipped” or “taken” could make it a lot easier for me to track my medications and supplements.

Both the Interactions feature, and the Medications feature, are currently listed on Apple’s website as “Coming Soon”. We’re going to have to wait a bit before being able to access them.

Apple also updated Mobility, a feature that tracks your mobility metrics. Those metrics can be viewed on Apple Watch and iPhone. You can get alerts if your walking steadiness is low or very low and you’re at an increased risk of falling. I can see where this feature would be important for people who have disabilities that interfere with their ability to walk. Apple describes Mobility this way:

You can view mobility like cardio fitness, walking speed, how fast you climb and descend stairs, and an estimate of your six-minute walk test. You can also get a general assessment of your walking steadiness, classified as OK, low, or very low, just by walking with your iPhone. This would traditionally require a visit to a specialty clinic where you would fill out a questionnaire and have your balance, stability, and risk of falling assessed.

To me, it sounds like Apple put in the effort to make the iPhone and Apple Watch have more functionality for people who have disabilities (myself included). In a world where accessibility is often an afterthought, it is great to see Apple improving the Health app in ways that are inclusive.


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