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Apple Health in watchOS 8, iOS 15 getting Trends, secure sharing, and more

Credit: Apple

Last updated

In the fall of 2021, Apple is adding a suite of new features to Health that will make it easier for users to understand health trends, communicate with doctors, and monitor loved ones.

At its WWDC 2021 keynote on Monday, Apple introduced several new updates to its Health platform across various devices — including iPhone.

One of those new features includes a new mobility tracking metric dubbed Walking Steadiness. The metric will use various mobility data points — including speed and evenness of gait — to assess how steadily a person walks and how it changes over time.

Apple is also adding a slew of new and detailed information to the Health app that will help users understand laboratory test results better.

Users will also get a broader understanding of how their health changes over time with a new Trends feature. The feature will track and display long-term changes to health metrics like steps, sleep, and more over time.

To help all of this new information aid a user's healthcare, Apple is also adding the ability to securely transmit data a user chooses to a healthcare provider. Doctors and physicians will be able to view this data in their health systems and identify trends over time.

There will also be a similar feature for families. A new Health Sharing mechanism will allow users to monitor the health of loved ones, especially aging parents or children. The feature will be supported by the following health networks at launch:

  • Cerner
  • Allscripts
  • AthenaHealth
  • CPSI
  • DrChrono
  • Meditech Expanse

When enabled, the feature will let users view a loved one's health metrics, such as heart rate and steps. Users can get notifications if specific metrics change. A built-in system will also make it easy for a user to start an iMessage about these health metrics with a tap.

Follow all of WWDC 2021 with comprehensive AppleInsider coverage of the week-long event from June 7 through June 11, including details on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS Monterey and more.

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