What You Should Know:
– Apple has shared a new report that offers a snapshot of the ways Apple products are empowering people to be at the centre of their health, and acting as an intelligent guardian for their health and safety.
– The report covers Apple’s two-pronged approach to advance health: Apple’s focus on personal health and fitness features on Apple Watch and iPhone, and Apple’s work with the medical community to support research and care.
Empowering Users on Their Personal Health Journeys
Since the release of the Health app in 2014 and Apple Watch in 2015, Apple has introduced a wide array of innovative health and fitness features, with the goal to provide users with easy-to-understand, meaningful insights so they can be empowered to live a healthier life
The four pillars of Apple’s Health and fitness features include:
1. Giving users a central and secure place to store and view their health data in the Health app
2. Offering features that enable Apple Watch to act as an intelligent guardian for users’ health
3. Offering features that help users improve their everyday health and fitness for better health outcomes,
4. Fueling innovative third-party health and fitness apps with developer tools.
Users can now store over 150 different types of health data from Apple Watch, iPhone, and connected third-party apps and devices in one central view in the Health app, in addition to available health records data from connected institutions in the US, UK, and Canada. Numerous apps, including globally popular apps like Nike Run Club, Calm, and WeightWatchers, on the App Store, use the HealthKit API, which allows developers to incorporate data users choose to share from the Health app to offer innovative health and fitness experiences, with rigorous privacy and data security protocols.
Collaborating With the Medical Community
The report describes four categories of direct collaboration with the medical community:
1. Building tools to enable researchers to make new scientific discoveries
2. Helping strengthen the physician-patient relationship with meaningful data
3. Collaborating with health organizations to promote healthy lifestyles at large scale
4. Supporting public health and government initiatives.
Through the Research app, Apple has collaborated with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association, and the University of Michigan and World Health Organization to offer users across the US the opportunity to participate in three first-of-their-kind research studies: the Apple Women’s Health Study, the Apple Heart and Movement Study, and the Apple Hearing Study. Early learnings from the studies appear in the report, as well as information on other studies Apple has supported, like the Heart Failure Study with University Health Network and the Digital Mental Health Study with UCLA
Health Records on iPhone in the Health app, along with apps and devices developed by third parties using Apple developer tools, help strengthen physician-patient relationships with meaningful data. Health Records is now available to patients at over 800 institutions across over 12,000 locations, making it easy for patients to see their available medical data from multiple providers in the Health app whenever they choose.
Finally, the report highlights Apple’s partnerships with clinicians and local governments on unique ways to support their crucial work to promote public health, including building apps and features during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Keeping Privacy in Mind
All of Apple’s health and fitness features have been developed with two overarching principles:
1. Rigorous scientific validation processes: Apple’s in-house clinicians are deeply involved in the product development process, and work hand-in-hand with engineers and product designers. This, combined with collaboration with experts from leading research institutions, ensures that products and features are grounded in science and user-friendly.
2. Privacy at the center: Privacy is a core value at Apple, and data privacy is critical for sensitive health data. Apple’s health and fitness features put users’ privacy at the center, and provide users with protections, including transparency and control.