July 20, 2022
How Apple is empowering people to access their health information
New report shares how Apple products are helping users, developers and healthcare organizations advance personal health, research and care
Today, Apple shared a new report that offers insight into how Apple products empower people to be at the center of their health and act as smart guardians of their health and safety. Users, developers, medical institutions, and healthcare organizations around the world use Apple devices, features, and APIs to break down barriers between people and their health information, while keeping the privacy.
Apple’s efforts to advance healthcare fall primarily into two categories, which are detailed in two corresponding sections of the report. The first section outlines Apple’s emphasis on personal health and fitness features on Apple Watch and iPhone that offer actionable scientific insights and help protect user health and safety. The second section shares Apple’s work with the medical community to support research and care. Both sections, as well as an Extensions and Spotlights section at the end of the report, include a variety of examples from third-party developers, healthcare institutions, and organizations that are innovating with Apple technology.
“We passionately believe that technology can play a role in improving health outcomes and encouraging people to have a healthier day, and we’re excited about the many ways users benefit from our health and fitness features. shape, and how third-party developers, institutions and organizations use Apple technology to advance health and science,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Our vision for the future is to continue to create science-based technology that provides people with even more information and acts as a smart guardian of their health, so that they are no longer passengers on their own health journey. Instead, we want people to be firmly in the driver’s seat with meaningful and actionable information. »
Empower users in their personal health journeys
Since releasing the Health app in 2014 and the Apple Watch in 2015, Apple has introduced a wide range of innovative health and fitness features, with the goal of providing users with easy-to-understand and meaningful information. so that they can be able to live a healthier life. The report outlines the four pillars of Apple’s health and fitness features: 1) providing users with a central, secure place to store and view their health data in the Health app, 2) providing features that enable to Apple Watch to act as a smart guardian for users. ‘ health, 3) providing features that help users improve their daily health and fitness for better health outcomes, and 4) powering innovative third-party health and fitness apps with developer tools.
With the release of iOS 16 and watchOS 9 this fall, Apple Watch and iPhone will offer features focused on 17 areas of health and fitness, from heart health and sleep to mobility and women’s health , and more. Over the years, customers of all ages have shared how these health and fitness features have, in their own words, changed their lives. Several share their stories in the report, including clients who discovered serious heart problems, received emergency help after a fall, or dramatically improved their health through daily activity.
Users can now store over 150 different types of health data from Apple Watch, iPhone, and connected third-party apps and devices in a central view of the Health app, in addition to data from health records. healthcare available from connected institutions in the US, UK, and Canada. There are now tens of thousands of apps on the App Store that use the HealthKit API, which allows developers to incorporate the data users choose to share from the Health app to deliver innovative experiences in health and fitness, with rigorous privacy and data security protocols. The report highlights examples of globally popular HealthKit-enabled apps such as Nike Run Club, Calm and WeightWatchers, as well as a growing number of HealthKit-enabled apps – including Qardio Heart Health and Withings Health Mate – that use connected accessories to allow users to track and monitor even more aspects of their health.
Support the health ecosystem by collaborating with the medical community
Apple believes that the strongest healthcare innovations are only possible through direct collaboration with the medical community, and the report outlines four categories of this collaboration: 1) creating tools to enable researchers to make new discoveries scientists, 2) help strengthen the doctor-patient relationship with meaningful data, 3) collaborate with healthcare organizations to promote healthy lifestyles at scale, and 4) support public health and government initiatives.
The ResearchKit framework gives researchers the ability to recruit study participants from a broad base of iPhone and Apple Watch users, and participants to choose to share health data to advance science. Through the research app, Apple has collaborated with Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association, as well as the University of Michigan and the World Health Organization to offer users across the United States the opportunity to participate in three groundbreaking research studies: the Apple Women’s Health Study, the Heart and Movement Study Apple and the Apple Hearing Study. Early learnings from the studies appear in the report, along with information about other Apple-supported studies, such as the Heart Failure Study with University Health Network and the Digital Mental Health Study with UCLA.
Health records on iPhone in the Health app, as well as apps and devices developed by third parties using Apple developer tools, help strengthen doctor-patient relationships with meaningful data. Health Records is now available to patients at over 800 facilities across more than 12,000 locations, making it easy for patients to see their medical data available from multiple providers in the Health app whenever they want. Research has shown that connecting patients remotely with their care teams yields better outcomes with the Corrie Health app, UVA home health care programs, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs lending Apple devices to veterans. to connect them to their VA health services. Care teams are better able to help patients with chronic illnesses at Ochsner Health System and NHS Sunderland, and remote monitoring is reducing the cost and length of stays in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care units Odense University Hospital and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, where premature babies can go home with their parents but remain remotely connected to healthcare teams.
Healthcare organizations and companies around the world – including Paceline in the US; Vitality Active Rewards in the US, UK, South Africa and Australia; and LumiHealth in Singapore — have worked with Apple to integrate Apple Watch into their wellness programs. There are currently 55 programs running in 17 countries with over one million users participating in an Apple Watch operating incentive program. These programs have been successful in increasing participants’ physical activity levels and adopting healthy behaviors, such as aiming for more regular sleep patterns, focusing on mindfulness, and trading in healthier food options.
Finally, the report highlights Apple’s partnerships with clinicians and local governments on unique ways to support their crucial work to promote public health, including building apps and features during the COVID health crisis. -19.
Grounded in science and designed around privacy
All of Apple’s health and fitness features were developed based on two fundamental principles:
- Rigorous scientific validation processes: Apple’s in-house clinicians are deeply involved in the product development process and work hand-in-hand with engineers and product designers. This, combined with collaboration with experts from leading research institutions, ensures that products and features are science-based and user-friendly.
- Confidentiality at the center: Privacy is a core value at Apple, and data privacy is essential for sensitive health data. Apple’s health and fitness features put user privacy at the center and provide users with protections including transparency and control. When iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all health and fitness data in the Health app — other than Medical ID — is encrypted, and all health data synced to iCloud are encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers. And if a user has a recent version of watchOS and iOS with the default two-factor authentication and a password, their health and activity data will be stored in a way that Apple can’t. not read them. Data from the Health app is never shared with third parties without the user’s explicit permission, and if users choose to share their health data, the Health app gives users granular control over the types of data they share and with whom they share it. They can view and manage permissions at any time.
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