The Health app was introduced by Apple back in 2014. A lot has changed since its introduction, and the app offers far more insight into your health, and it’s easy to use.
How The Health app Works
The beauty is that it pulls in data from fitness, sleep, nutrition, mindfulness, and overall health from various apps and keeps that information centrally located in the Health app. Apple has improved the app by adding several different functions baked in, such as Fitness, Sleep, ECG. Still, it also supports numerous third-party apps like Nike Run Club, MyFitnessPal, or Weight Watchers.
Anyone who has an iPhone can take advantage of the Health app. It can track your steps, speed, distance, even how much time you spend in bed. However, if you want to get the most out of the Health app, you should consider purchasing the Apple Watch as it adds functionality like Heart Rate, ECG, and Blood Pressure, and it’s very accurate.
Setting Up the Health app
The Health app uses your personal information to calculate calories burned and more. After setting up your initial profile, you review your Health Checklist and enable various health features.
- Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab
- Choose Your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Tap Health Details, then tap edit.
- Add or correct the information
- When finished tap Done
Now go through and set up your Medical ID and register to become an organ donor if you choose. To make any changes to your Medical ID, tap edit in the upper right corner and proceed to make changes. When finished, tap Done, then Profile in the upper left corner.
Under the Features, category go through each section and determine what features work best for you and your own devices.
How to Navigate the Summary Tab in the Health app
The Summary tab is the first page you’re presented with when you open the Health app. It brings all the data from your various apps making it easy to view.
The Summary tab shows you the data you’ve designated as “Favorites,” be it from your activity, heart rate, sleep, or blood oxygen. To set this up:
- Make sure the Summary tab is selected
- Tap edit in the upper right corner
- Select the data you want to show on the Summary page by tapping on the star.
There are many data points to choose from. Select the ones you feel will give you an overview of your health or stand out as necessary. It’s a long list. You can always go back and add more or remove ones that no longer fit the bill.
Once you’ve added the data to the Summary tab, you can take a deep dive into each category to see where you stand. For example: If I open Walking Steadiness, this helps me understand my fall risk. I can view my steadiness over the last month, 6 Months, or Year.
Apple gives me a little understanding of how and what it calculates, exercises that may improve my steadiness, and even third-party walking steadiness apps.
The Sharing Tab
The Sharing tab lets you share your health data with someone else. A trusted friend or family member, maybe your doctor?
- Tap on the Share with Someone button
- Type in the name of someone in your Contacts list
- If they have an Apple phone, their contact info will be in blue
- If their information is gray, a pop-up will appear “Unable to Share Health Data with….”
- Tap their name, choose the topics you want to share on each screen.
- Preview the topics
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Share
The individual will receive a text message stating that you want to share your health data, and they can accept or deny the request.
The Browse Tab
The Browse tab gives an overall view of your health. Categories include Activity, Heart, Mobility, Nutrition, and many more. Health Records and your Health System if you’ve chosen to add it.
Choose a category to see all of the data you have access to. For example, if I choose Activity, I can see how well I’m doing today, or by selecting the time in the upper right corner, I can see how I’ve done over the past week, Month, 6 Months, or Year. It’s a comprehensive look at your Activity level.
The Health app is a hub, so the first thing you need to do is tell it where you want to get its data. It can be a little intimidating, and there’s a good chance you aren’t using your iPhone’s Health app. But if you give it a chance, it’s a powerful tool and is pretty easy to use.
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