Apple app to lets users see family members health data

Apple has added a service that lets people share data from their health Apple app with loved ones and family members. This service is one of the new slates of health features for the iPhone.

One can share access to their overall heart rate and movement data with permission. Users can also be able to share access to alerts, that will ping authorized users when the feature notices some things like a high heart rate or changes in mobility. The person the data is shared to will always be informed when there is a message about any changes.

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The main aim for this is to provide a secure and private way for users to have a trusted partner on their health journey since everyone around the world is caring for someone. All this was said was mentioned by Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

This feature is useful to caregivers who may be monitoring the health of their loved ones, like parents, or older adults. Though, sometimes they tend to be less comfortable with this type of monitoring than their caregivers are. Monitoring tools can give peace of mind to the caregivers while feeling invasive to the people they tracked.

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Apple intends to add another health metric, called walking steadiness, to the Health app. It will also use mobility data already collected by the iPhone to manage changes to factors like walking patterns or balance and will tell users they having an increased risk of falling.

The service will also include some exercise to help users increase in steadiness. Apple also said they’ll build the system using the data collected through a Clinical study that included over 100,000 participants of all ages.

Falls are one of the major public health challenges. Each year, about 35 million adults over the age of 64 falls, and many falls lead to injuries or other serious health issues. Falls are responsible for $51 billion healthcare costs a year, one study estimated.

People will be able to share their Health app data with their doctors. Physicians already have patients bringing readouts from their devices into appointments regularly. The integration will also let people to be able to transfer that data more directly. The company also said features will start off with support from the six electronic medical record companies in the United States, and also Athenahealth, or Cerner. Doctors that use these platforms will be able to see all data in the medical record.