Health (Apple)

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Health icon iOS 12.png
Health Dashboard.png
Health app running on an iPhone 6
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseSeptember 17, 2014; 7 years ago (2014-09-17)
Operating systemiOS
TypeHealth informatics, physical fitness Edit this on Wikidata

Health is the health informatics mobile app announced on June 2, 2014 by Apple Inc. at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The app is included with iPhones and iPod Touch that run iOS 8 or later.

The application hold health data such as blood pressure measurement and glucose levels, but also can hold tracking data like step counts.[1] It can pull data from fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart scales, and other devices.[1]


The Health app is found on the iPhone and Apple Watch, the icon for the app is a white icon with the red heart.[1] The Health app has four main categories of data - activity, mindfulness, sleep and nutrition.[2] The app can storage health data, tracking data, and clinical medical records, it offers a profile called "Medical ID" for first responders and can be connected to various hardware devices and third party apps.

Initially, the Health app was criticized for its lack of compatible third-party applications (at its release on September 17, 2014, along with iOS 8), glucose tracking, proper health data explanations, and sluggish app performance.[3][4] Eventually, Apple fixed these issues with a software update.[5]

"Medical ID" is stored within the Health app, this was designed for first responders and shares allergies, medications, blood type and organ donor status.[1] As of July 2016, iOS 10 users or later in the United States were able to sign up to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor in the Apple Health app.[6]

In 2018, the Apple Watch series 4 started to offer personal ECG measurement and cardiac health monitoring, which would store to the Health app.[7]

In 2019, the Health app received a redesign as part of iOS 13, which simplified navigation of the app by replacing the dashboard with a summary tab and placing everything else under a "Browse" tab, similar to the previous "Health Data" tab. Cycle tracking and noise level monitoring were also made available.

Apple's "Health Records" is a place to store your medical clinical records, and is available if your health insurer or hospital is signed up for the Apple Health Records program.[1]

As of 2020, the types of data stored by the Health app include steps, walking and running distance, flights climbed, heart rate, nutrition, sleep analysis, heart rate variability and weight.[1]

As of 2020, the devices and hardware compatible with the Health app include, Upright Go 2 posture trainer, La Roche-Posay My Skin UV sensor, Beddit Sleep monitor, Withings smart blood pressure monitor, Withings thermometer, and Withings smart scales.[1]

Electronic Health Records[edit]

In 2018, Apple's "Health Records" was introduced, which allowed on iOS 11.3 or later for users to import their medical records from their doctor or hospital.[2]

On June 6, 2019, Northern Louisiana Medical Center announced an early partnership with Apple to allow clinical medical records shared through the app.[8][9] Shortly after Apple began allowing compatible electronic health records (EHR) to self-register for the "Health Records" project.[8] Other partnerships in 2019 included University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Medical Center of South Arkansas; Northwest Health of Springdale, Arkansas; Blessing Health System of Quincy, Illinois; Doylestown Health of Pennsylvania; Franciscan Health; Bayhealth Medical Center of Dover, Delaware, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.[8]


In July 2018, Apple hired cardiologist Dr. Alexis Beatty, while working on the Apple Watch and Health integration.[10] In June 2019, the former chief information officer of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, David Smoley was hired as a Vice President of Apple.[11]

In October 2019, former Columbia University Medical Center cardiologist Dr. David Tsay joined Apple Health.[12]

HealthKit API[edit]

HealthKit logo

HealthKit is the accompanying developer application programming interface (API) included in the iOS SDK (Software Development Kit) for the Mac. It is used by software developers to design applications that have extensibility and that can interact with the health and fitness applications on iOS.[13]

After the release of iOS 8 on September 17, 2014, Apple removed all HealthKit-compatible apps from its App Store to fix a bug that caused cellular and Touch ID issues, and then re-released Healthkit, with the release of iOS 8.0.2, on September 26, 2014.[14]

As of February 2017, several manufacturers other than Apple sold hardware that was HealthKit enabled.[15]

ResearchKit & CareKit APIs[edit]

ResearchKit logo

ResearchKit and CareKit are two other health-related software frameworks which Apple have introduced to further build upon the capabilities of HealthKit, allowing software developers to create applications for gathering medical research and following care plans, respectively.[16][17] Both APIs can interact with the health application and facilitate the sharing of health information between patients and doctors.

Apple has also introduced a standalone research application for iOS and watchOS devices, which allows users to volunteer and participate in long-term research studies run by Apple and various health partners.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Apple Health guide: The powerful fitness app explained". Wareable. July 11, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Capritto, Amanda (2019). "The complete guide to Apple's Health app". CNET. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  3. ^ Hall, Zac (September 17, 2014). "Apple seemingly removing HealthKit compatible iOS 8 apps from App Store due to issues". 9to5Mac.
  4. ^ Hall, Zac (December 18, 2014). "iOS 8.2 brings back blood glucose tracking, explains Health data". 9to5Mac.
  5. ^ Viticci, Federico (March 16, 2015). "iOS 8.2 and Health Follow-Up". MacStories.
  6. ^ Kate Anne (July 6, 2016). "Apple Health app update: register to be an organ donor". Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Alex (2018). "An Inside Look at Apple's Biggest Step Yet in Health Care". Time. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Adams, Katie (June 17, 2020). "Apple moves further into healthcare: A timeline of the past year". Becker's Healthcare Review. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  9. ^ Drees, Jackie (June 6, 2019). "Louisiana hospital partners with Apple for health records access". Beckers Hospital Review. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  10. ^ Farr, Christina (October 17, 2018). "Why big tech companies keep hiring heart doctors". CNBC. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  11. ^ Gurman, Mark (September 27, 2019). "Technology: Apple Hires AstraZeneca Chief Information Officer David Smoley". Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  12. ^ Farr, Christina (October 30, 2019). "Apple hires another prominent cardiologist as it makes heart health a big area of focus". CNBC. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  13. ^ Williams, Rhiannon (February 6, 2015). "What is Apple's HealthKit?".
  14. ^ Mike Beasley (September 26, 2014). "Apple releases iOS 8.0.2 to address cellular and Touch ID issues in previous update". 9to5Mac. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  15. ^ "List of Healthkit Compatible Devices". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  16. ^ "Apple Introduces ResearchKit, Giving Medical Researchers the Tools to Revolutionize Medical Studies". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "Introduction - CareKit - Human Interface Guidelines - Apple Developer". Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  18. ^ "Apple Research app arrives on iPhone and Apple Watch with three opt-in health studies". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 11, 2021.

External links[edit]