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Apple Says Its Products Are Good for Your Health, and It’s Not Wrong

Apple released a massive report on how its health-tracking systems, watch, and phone are making people's lives better. Here's what it says.

Fast Facts

  • Apple released a big report detailing its progress and efforts in the health and fitness tracking world
  • The company’s biggest gains are centralizing all health-tracking apps into one spot, health data privacy, and the number of sensors for tracking

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably noticed Apple has, over time, become more of a wellness company than tech company. Today, Apple released a mammoth report on how its products are “empowering people to be at the center of their health, and acting as an intelligent guardian for their health and safety.” Here’s the skinny on what Apple’s health-tracking ecosystem is good for.

Health Info, All in One Place

Probably the most generally useful progress made by Apple in the health world is the centralization of health- and fitness-related app information. The Apple Health app pulls data from iPhone sensors, connected Apple Watch readings, and third-party apps (think exercise and diet apps) into one spot. The benefit of this is obvious: it’s a hell of a lot easier to know how your body is doing when it’s not you doing the reporting. At this point, there are more than 10,000 third-party apps that utilize Apple’s HealthKit API, which is a fancy way of saying there is an absolute boatload of apps that are feeding your phone real-time health data and analysis. 

apple watch health app
The Apple Watch and iPhone work in tandem to deliver loads of health data to you every minute of the day.

Secure, But Shareable

It’s not a huge shock that Apple has placed a premium on keeping its users’ health data under several layers of lock-and-key. While Apple is not a saint in the fight against massive companies buying and selling your data, it’s certainly got a better track record than some of its competitors. Health data on the iPhone is encrypted at all times while the phone is locked (basically, it’s only accessible by anyone when the phone is unlocked). Plus, any health data in sync with iCloud “is encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers,” according to Apple.

It’s also both handy and important to be able to share health information in a secure way. Think about medical records, prescription medication tracking (a new feature), and various specific data points that the Health app can create a PDF to share with your doctor. 

Like a Check Engine Light for Your Body

Anyone whose attempted to lose some weight, put on some muscle, or just eat a bit healthier knows the underlying difficulty of any body transformation lies in consistency. Whether it’s consistently going to the gym, getting steps in, or eating better, progress is made over time, not in an instant. That’s where popular features like the popular Activity Rings and built-in “coaching” tools come in handy; they are course correctors. What’s more, shareability has become integral to Apple Health. You can share your workouts, step count, various records you’ve set, and more. It has effectively become a barometer for a health-minded person.

The Bottom Line

Apple released a big report detailing its progress and efforts in the health and fitness tracking world. The company’s biggest gains are centralizing all health-tracking apps (not just the Apple ones) into one spot, a serious commitment to health data privacy, and the scope of the tools available to a customer.

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