Apple WWDC 2021: On Monday, Apple announced that it was making serious upgrades to its health services in the upcoming iOS 15 version, adding secure features for sharing loved ones and also the ability to view views on personal health data. The company also announced a new health feature for iPhones called Walking Steadiness.
With Health Sharing, reaching iOS 15 devices this year, users will be able to privately share health data with a Trusted partner or group of people. This could be your partner’s fertility data, someone who is doing physical therapy, or just an elderly person who wants to share heart-related data with their family.
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Trusted contacts will be able to view health data, such as sleep and blood oxygen levels or heart rate information, as well as specific graphs and trends that will help highlight important information about their health. U.S. users can also share certain types of health data, such as heart rate, detected falls, hours of sleep, or minutes of exercise to get a better diagnosis with their doctor. Apple says it will not see any of that data, but will pass it on to participating health organizations where a doctor can review it.
Apple cites WHO statistics that more than 37 million people need medical attention each year as a result of a fall, and is introducing a new feature on iPhones called Walking Steadiness to know the risk of a fall. Apple’s iPhones will soon be updated with the ability to capture important mobility data while users have their cell phones in their pockets. Instead of responding to a survey of elderly people, Apple says the new Walking Steadiness feature captures common movements and then classifies them OK, low, or very low depending on their level of risk to the user.
Also read: WWDC 2021: Apple has announced new privacy features for iCloud, Siri and more
Apple says it has used data from the Apple Heart and Movement Study, using data from participants in a lakh from a wide age group, in what it calls the largest set of data ever used to analyze the risk of falling. Walking Steadiness will use Apple’s algorithms to measure balance, stability, and coordination using sensors in the iPhone at the time they are designed, which is neat. Apple will also offer users access to healing and balance-enhancing audio-visual exercises – it also says these videos are clinically validated.
“The importance of health has been emphasized over the past year, and we allow our users to take a more active role in their well-being. We’ve added powerful features that provide users with the most comprehensive set of approaches to better understand their health trends over time,” said Jeff Williams, Apple main. “A lot of people around the world are caring for someone, and we want to give users a safe and private way to have a trusted partner in their healthcare career. We are excited to bring these innovative tools directly into the hands of users,” he added.
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