Apple explains how the Apple Watch and iPhone are helping advance human health

Apple has launched a comprehensive guide that covers the ways the Apple Watch, the iPhone and its software technologies are helping advance human health.

Infographic highlighting key findings in the Apple Health study conducted in July 2022
Key findings of the Apple Health Study | Infographic: Apple
  • Apple dropped a massive 60-page guide, titled “Empowering people to live a healthier day,” which covers all its health-related efforts since 2014.
  • It claims more than 150 types of health data can now be stored in the Health app. More than 800 institutions are offering Health records on the iPhone.
  • iOS 16 and watchOS 9 sport new features around seventeen areas of health and fitness, from heart health and sleep to mobility and women’s health, and more.

Apple’s health report covers eight years of progress

In a press release posted in the Apple Newsroom, Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said that the company’s health efforts encompass a trifecta of hardware, software and apps. The goal is to create technological solutions that will make people more aware of their well-being and help them lead healthier lives. “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, so they’re no longer passengers on their own health journey,” he said. “Instead, we want people to be firmly in the driver’s seat with meaningful, actionable insights.”

He said technology can play a role in improving health outcomes. The 60-page report [PDF download] details some of the personal health and fitness features on the Apple Watch and iPhone. Other sections of the report detail how Apple is protecting user privacy when it comes to safekeeping health-related data, and how third-party developers are taking advantage of the HealthKit framework to build apps used by medical institutions. The company says that tens of thousands of apps use the HealthKit API, including Nike Run Club, Calm and WeightWatchers.

New health features are launching soon

iOS 16 and watchOS 9 bring new health and fitness features, such as meditation intake tracking in the Health app. You also can share Health data with loved ones. The Apple Watch gains new sleep stage tracking with watchOS 9 and the Health app now provides a history of your AFib readings.

Health could be Apple’s greatest contribution to humanity

The Apple Watch debuted in 2014 as a fashion-focused device, but consumers were unimpressed. Realizing its mistake, the company refocused the wearable device around fitness. That proved crucial. Sales took off, Apple began heavily investing in health projects and the rest is history. Apple’s boss Tim Cook once said he thought that Apple’s greatest contribution to humanity would be health-related projects, not the Mac or the iPhone. Read: How to add your symptoms to Apple Health