On Wednesday, July 20, tech giant Apple Inc published an exhaustive report highlighting its health features and partnerships with top medical institutions, stating its preventive healthcare offerings are critical to the company's future.
The 60-page report offers a snapshot of how Apple products empower people to be at the centre of their health. From sleep monitoring and fitness classes to menstrual cycle tracking and ECGs, the company's offerings attempt to break down barriers between people and their health information while keeping privacy in mind, stated the report.
Since the release of the Health app in 2014 and the Apple Watch in 2015, Apple has introduced a wide array of innovative health and fitness features.
Several users have also shared their stories in the report, including customers who have discovered severe heart conditions, received emergency assistance after a fall, or dramatically improved their health through daily activity.
Toralv, a 68-year-old from Norway was quoted in the study. He said, "In February 2019, I was staying with friends just outside of Oslo. I wore my Apple Watch Series 4 to bed that night so I could test a sleep app, but things start to get blurry."
He added, "I have no memory of the fall later that night and I don't remember getting back into bed. Sometime around 4am, I had got up to go to the bathroom when I experienced a sudden drop in blood pressure."
He fainted and landed face first on the bathroom floor. His collapse triggered the fall detection feature.
"Nobody heard my fall,' he said. "My friend and his wife didn't hear anything about it until the police car came to their door."
The fall detection feature is paired with Emergency SOS, a safety feature available on Apple Watch and iPhone. If a hard fall is detected and the user is immobile for about a minute, Apple Watch's Emergency SOS feature automatically calls emergency services and notifies the emergency contacts registered in the user's Medical ID with a text message and the user's location. The service is available globally.
Users who have used the devices and applications have said they have dramatically helped them monitor heart health, improve cardiovascular fitness, improve mobility, and monitor menstrual cycles. The activity rings and awards for completing daily movement goals have been a massive motivator for getting out there and moving, according to some users.
What's new in iOS 16 and watchOS9?
With the release of iOS 16 and watchOS 9 this fall, Apple Watch and iPhone will offer features that focus on 17 areas of health and fitness, from heart health and sleep to mobility and women's health.
Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said in a press statement, "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 health journey. Instead, we want people to be firmly in the driver's seat with meaningful, actionable insights."
Through the Research app, Apple has also collaborated with Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the American Heart Association, the University of Michigan and the World Health Organisation.
The company has also stated privacy is a core value at Apple, and data privacy is critical for sensitive health data.
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