Apple Health now collects more than 500 different kinds of health data in 17 different categories. If you have an Apple Watch or an iPhone, you probably have access to Apple Health and many of the thousands of apps that use its technology. Are you getting the most out of it?
Here are six things you might not have known your Apple devices can do for your health.
1. Give you a quick snapshot of your health
The summary tells you the most important things — and you get to decide what’s most important.
Each item gives you the option to mark it as a favorite. Favorites are presented on the summary screen to give you a quick check on the things you want to track.
2. Provide lots of other data
Apple Health collects a lot of information. You may not need to check everything every day, but it’s nice to know you can easily find out whether you’re walking asymmetrically or getting enough sleep.
3. Track nutrients
Apple Health can help you make sure you get the nutrients you need.
As you can see from the example above, this data can get very granular. You can make it more useful by picking out specifics. For example, if you need to count carbs or to work on increasing iron intake, you can identify these items as favorites and they will show up in your Summary.
4. Capture health trends
Apple Health will show you changes over time.
In the example above, we can see that the resting heart rate is gradually getting lower. This can be a sign of increasing fitness.
It’s satisfying to see a rising walking speed or a consistent pattern of meeting your sleep goal. The opposite — maybe seeing that you’re putting on weight or that you’ve been slacking off on exercise — can be an effective wake up call.
5. Alert you to the interesting stuff
Apple Health notices things about you. It will let you know in your Summary when it catches a pattern. It can also give you real-time alerts if your heart rate is unusually high or your walking steadiness is poor. These can be warnings that you’re in danger of a fall or signs that you need to talk with your doctor about your heart health.
6. Gather data from other apps
Under each item of health care data, there is a heading called “Data Sources & Access.” This tells you whether any other apps or research studies can see your data. It also tells you how Apple Health gets the data it knows.
In the example above, Apple Health is getting data from an app called “Bitesnap,” just one of many food tracking apps that will automatically sync with Apple Health.
This feature can also help you decide whether to trust the data you’re collecting. If your Apple Health water tracking is based on a food app and you know you don’t log the glasses of water you drink between meals, for example, then you know you’re not getting good data on your hydration.
Did we leave out your favorite? Tell us in the comments!