Apple trumpets eight years of health technology with new report

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Apple has released a report into its use of health technology such as Apple Watch, and how it continues to work with medical organizations to achieve this.

The full report is described as "a snapshot" of Apple's health technology work, and is chiefly divided into two sections. One regards the public-facing side of specific health features in the Apple Watch and the iPhone, while the other is about Apple's ties with medical research around the world.

"We believe passionately that technology can play a role in improving health outcomes and encouraging people to live a healthier day," said chief operating officer Jeff Williams in a statement, "and we are excited about the many ways users are benefiting from our health and fitness features, and by the ways third-party developers, institutions, and organizations are using Apple technology to advance health and science."

"Our vision for the future is to continue to create science-based technology that equips people with even more information and acts as an intelligent guardian for their health," he continued, "so they're no longer passengers on their own health journey."

"Instead, we want people to be firmly in the driver's seat with meaningful, actionable insights," concluded Williams

Apple dates its time in this field to 2014 with the debut of the Health app, and most notably with 2015's Apple Watch launch. The report says that now users can store over "150 different types of health data" Apple devices, third-party apps, and connected institutions in the US, UK and Canada.

The company says that there are over 800 institutions offering health records on iPhone. Plus "tens of thousands" of apps use the HealthKit API, including Nike Run Club, Calm, and WeightWatchers.

Then Apple's ResearchKit "gives researchers the opportunity to recruit study participants," from the ranks of iPhone and Apple Watch users. ResearchKit has helped in asthma studies, for instance.

Source: Apple

Apple says that the work of ResearchKit and HealthKit is a continuing goal for the company, but that ultimately its aim is to change how we regard health.

"Too often health is something we try not to think about," says Williams in the report. "We avoid talking about it. We put it off for another day, a better time. Then, something unexpected happens: an illness, an unfortunate incident, or even, as we've seen these last two and a half years, a pandemic."

"Apple is working to change how people think about, talk about, monitor, and focus on their health," he continued. "We feel drawn to this work not only because of the opportunity to help advance human health but because we are driven by our principles to devote talent, resources, and expertise to where we can do the most good."

The company's health efforts are continuing in iOS 16. When that is released to the public later in 2022, users will be able to track, manage, and monitor their medication.