Apple published a nearly 60-page report that outlines the range of health related features they manage, including also some mentions to the partnerships they have with medical institutions. This is highlights the importance that the company places in the intersection of health and tech.
Some of the features they mention are probably well-known to you, from sleep to cardiac monitoring, but also areas such as hearing health, monitor and safety. They have been building this as a foundation for other services they offer, and that developers can utilise to build new apps and services. This is the case of frameworks such as ResearchKit for example.
With the report, Apple is clearly signalling the intention of continuing to innovate in the health tech space. Some are already great selling points. Take for instance the Apple Watch as a first step (no pun intended) to gather health data such as levels of activity and steps, distance for walking/running and with offerings such as Fitness+ that complement the capture of health and well-being information all with the light-touch of gamification – “Close your rings, see you next time!”. Slowly but surely Apple has added features such as atrial fibrillation or levels of blood oxygen, or the notifications of exposure to high levels of noise; even a reminder to wash your hands when you arrive home. In the most recent announcement for iOS 16 we also saw the inclusion of medication tracking and reminders. Other data points are surely coming… glucose levels or blood pressure may be next.
This is data that can be of benefit to both patients and doctors. You may have seen in recent news how Apple Watch may have saved patients, or in a case much closer to home I have seen first hand the use of data captured by a family member being used to help with discussion with the family doctor. In this particular case, the limitation of observations captured while being monitored in a clinical setting vanishes as the doctor may be able to get a glimpse of the relevant readings during the normal everyday activities of the patient.
According to the report, the Apple ecosystem supports features across 17 areas of health and fitness and is able to store 150+ types of health data. This, together with the ever increasing number of developer’s contributions to the App StoreThe iPhone and Apple Watch now support features across 17 areas of fitness and health, according to the report. And the Health app can store more than 150 types of health-related data.