In today’s fast-paced world, staying on top of our health is more important than ever. With the release of Apple’s iOS 17 and its revolutionary Health app, monitoring and managing our well-being has become easier and more accessible than ever before. From mental health insights to vision health features, the Health app is designed to provide valuable tools and experiences across platforms. In this article, we take a look at the groundbreaking health and fitness features introduced in iOS 17.
The Importance of Mental Health
Mental health is an integral part of our overall well-being, yet it is often overlooked. Apple recognizes the importance of mental health and has incorporated innovative features to help users understand and manage their emotional well-being.
By logging momentary emotions and daily moods, users can gain valuable insights into their mental state and access relevant resources. The Health app in iOS 17 introduces an engaging way for users to reflect on their state of mind.
By scrolling and selecting feelings on a range from Very Pleasant to Very Unpleasant, users can gain a deeper understanding of their emotional state.
The Health app goes beyond simply reflecting on emotions. It provides valuable insights to identify factors that may contribute to one’s state of mind. This includes associations or lifestyle factors like sleep or exercise. This information can be used to better manage overall health.
For those who require additional support, the Health app offers assessments for anxiety and depression. These assessments enable users to determine their risk level, connect with available resources, and even create a PDF to share with their doctor. By focusing on mental health, Apple aims to raise awareness, acceptance, and support for this important topic.
“Our goal is to empower people to take charge of their own health journey. With these innovative new features, we’re expanding the comprehensive range of health and wellness tools that we offer our users across iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.” – Sumbul Desai, M.D., Apple’s vice president of Health.
Enhancing Vision Health
Another significant area of focus in iOS 17 is vision health. Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects a large portion of the population and is a leading cause of vision impairment worldwide. Apple recognizes the importance of healthy behaviors in reducing the risk of myopia, especially in children. With the new vision health features in iOS 17, users can actively engage in behaviors that promote healthy eyesight.
One of the recommended behaviors to reduce the risk of myopia is spending more time outdoors in daylight. The Health app in iOS 17 allows users to view the amount of time they spend in daylight, as detected by their Apple Watch. This feature not only helps reduce the risk of myopia but also provides additional benefits to physical and mental health. The International Myopia Institute recommends children spend at least 80-120 minutes a day outdoors, and with the Health app, parents can monitor and encourage their children’s outdoor time.
In addition to outdoor time, the Health app also addresses the impact of screen distance on vision health. Viewing devices or books at a close distance is a well-documented risk factor for myopia.
To combat this, iOS 17 introduces the Screen Distance feature. By utilizing the TrueDepth camera, the Health app encourages users to move their device farther away after holding it closer than 12 inches for an extended period. This feature not only helps reduce the risk of myopia but also assists in reducing digital eyestrain.
Bringing Health to iPad
With the release of iPadOS 17, Apple extends the reach of the Health app to iPad users. The Health app is already a central hub for health and fitness information on iPhone and Apple Watch. Now, it provides an enhanced experience on the iPad. It integrates information from various sources, including iPhone, Apple Watch, compatible third-party apps, and devices.
iPad users can now track and manage their medications, use Cycle Tracking, log their momentary emotions and daily moods, view health records from multiple institutions, and more, all in one place.
The Health app on iPad is optimized for the large display, featuring a new look for Favorites and detailed interactive charts. Users can receive insights into their health data with Trends and Highlights, and multitask with other apps using iPadOS features like Split View.
Health and fitness developers can also leverage the power of HealthKit on iPad. They can create innovative experiences that incorporate user-shared data from the Health app. This can be done while maintaining strict privacy and data security protocols. This expansion of the Health app to iPad opens up new possibilities for users and developers to engage with health and wellness on a larger scale.
Privacy at the Core
Apple understands that privacy is a fundamental concern when it comes to health data. With each new feature and update, the Health app prioritizes the security and privacy of user information.
When an iPhone or iPad is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all health and fitness data in the Health app, except for Medical ID, is encrypted on the device.
Additionally, health data synced to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers. Apple ensures that user health data is never shared with any third party without explicit permission.
The Health app provides users with granular control over the types of data they share and with whom they share it. Users can review and manage permissions at any time, ensuring that their health information remains private and secure.
With the default two-factor authentication and a passcode, health and activity data are stored in a way that Apple cannot read it, further enhancing privacy protection.
Additional Updates and Features
iOS 17 introduces several other updates and features that enhance the overall health and wellness experience for users. Let’s explore some of these additional updates:
The Medications feature in iOS 17 offers users the option to receive follow-up reminders if they haven’t logged taking a scheduled medication. Users can also make reminders as critical alerts. This allows them to come through even if the device is muted or has Focus enabled. This feature ensures that users stay on track with their medication regimen and prioritize their health.
The new Journal app in iOS 17 provides users with a platform to reflect and practice gratitude through writing about and remembering life’s moments. Leveraging the Journaling Suggestions API, the app offers personalized prompts based on a user’s recent activity, such as photos, people, places, workouts, and more. This feature encourages users to engage in introspection and mindfulness, promoting overall well-being.
Apple Fitness+ introduces Custom Plans, a personalized workout or meditation schedule based on individual preferences. Users can select the day, duration, workout type, and more to receive a tailored plan that fits their needs.
The Stacks feature allows users to seamlessly transition between multiple workouts and meditations, maximizing their fitness experience. Additionally, the Audio Focus feature gives users the ability to prioritize the volume of music or trainers’ voices, enhancing their workout sessions.
Apple’s iOS 17 Health app brings a new era of health and wellness to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users. By focusing on mental health insights, vision health features, and extending the app to iPad, Apple provides innovative tools and experiences that empower users to prioritize their well-being.
The emphasis on privacy ensures that user data remains secure and protected. With additional updates and features, such as medication reminders, the Journal app, and Apple Fitness+, iOS 17 offers a comprehensive health and fitness ecosystem that promotes a healthier lifestyle. Take advantage of these powerful iOS 17 Health app features and embark on a journey towards better health and wellness.