How does Apple Health work?

In this guide, we will discuss How does Apple Health work, why is the Apple Health app useful, see some of the devices and apps that are compatible, how you could connect one of the compatible apps to the Apple Health and some additional things to consider.

How does Apple Health work?

You may want to know how Apple Health works if you are starting to consider using it to track your overall health or if you have decided to start a weight loss journey. It is pretty simple and user friendly, nothing too complex, however, we will discuss here some of the most important aspects we consider are also the most helpful. 

The Health app recollects data from your iPhone, Apple Watch and apps that you may already use so you can see your progress in one place. Health will automatically count your steps, walking and running distances. Moreover, if you have an Apple Watch it will automatically track your Activity data and you can also get data from any other devices compatible with Health.

If you would like to set your Health profile, here are the instructions on how you could do it:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab. 
  • Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner. 
  • Tap Health Profile, then tap Edit. 
  • Add your information, like height, weight, and age. 
  • Tap Done.  
  • You can also set up your Medical ID or register to be an organ donor from your profile. 

This last option of setting up your Medical ID or registering to be an organ donor is a unique feature of Apple Health, as far as we know. 

Why is Apple Health useful?

Tracking, recording and retrieving your health information can become quite useful, especially for those who are interested in making some lifestyle changes. The Health app can consolidate the data from other devices such as your iPhone, Watch and compatible third-party apps that you may have been using, so you can view the information in just one place. 

Additionally, you can track and monitor several activities such as:

 What devices are compatible with Apple Health?

The range and type of devices that are compatible with Apple Health will vary, so always make sure it is compatible. However, let’s mention some of the devices that we know are compatible such as the iPhone, iPod touch and of course, the Apple Watch.

But what happens if you don’t have an Apple device? Well, as mentioned on wearable.com, “Then there’s a sizable collection of third party devices that can widen the type of data that’s stored in Apple Health ”. It includes:

  • Upright Go 2 posture trainer
  • La Roche-Posay My Skin UV sensor
  • Beddit Sleep monitor
  • Withings BPM Connect Wi-Fi smart blood pressure monitor
  • Withings Thermo thermometer
  • Withings Body Cardio Wi-Fi smart scales
  • Withings Body scales

Which apps are compatible with Health?

Alongside the devices, there are some apps you can also combine with Apple Health or those who are compatible so you can pull the data from those apps and have them stored into the Apple Health. Simply, open your Health app and scroll down to the Summary tab to find the supported apps:

  • WaterMinder
  • Lifesum
  • Sleep Cycle
  • iFertracker
  • iHealth MyVitals
  • Garmin Connect
  • Google Fit
  • Strava
  • Weight Watchers
  • MyFitnessPal

How can I connect an app with Apple Health? 

The steps on how to push the data from some of the apps we have mentioned into Apple Health may vary. For instance, if you are considering connecting Strava to Apple health, here is the breakdown from wearable.com.

However, many of the apps will offer a prompt to share the data between apps mostly during the setup, but you are also able to go into the app’s settings to connect the two together as well if you didn’t want to do it straight away. 

As soon as you grant access, you can head to the Apps section on the Health app and see the ones you have enabled and you can see the list by tapping on your profile button in the top right corner and hit ‘Apps’ under the ‘Privacy’ heading. You can also customize what data you’d like to share with the Apple Health App, or you can even toggle the entire option off.

How can I choose my favourite categories to track?

For instance, if I would like to choose steps, resting energy and workouts because they are my favourite categories and I would like to see the information quicker than all the other categories then, follow these steps:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab. 
  • Tap Edit in the upper-right corner. 
  • To add or remove a category from your favourites, tap it. Categories with a blue star appear in your favourites.
  • When you’re finished, tap Done. 

Finally, consider that your favourites will show how you are doing in each category that day, like steps or resting energy. To see more information about the category, just tap on it.

How can I add information about my health?

If you would like to add information about your health, just open the health app and tap on the Browse tab. Tap any category you’d like and tap a subcategory. Then tap ‘Add Data’ at the upper-right corner and enter the date, time and data for this activity. Finally, when you are done, tap Add. 

Can I choose which apps share information with Health?

The answer is yes, and here we will mention the steps according to the Apple Support website:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab.
  • Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner. 
  • Under Privacy, tap Apps. You can see apps that you already own that are compatible with Health. If you don’t see an app, it might not be compatible. 
  • Tap an app and turn on the health categories that you want that app to track.

However, if you are using multiple apps to track different things, you can use the Health app to bring all the information together, to one place so you don’t have to check every single app. 

Know your Health changes over time

To know your health changes over time simply:

  • Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab. 
  • Scroll down to Highlights. Highlights show your Health over time, so you can see how you’re doing overall. 
  • Tap a highlight to see more about that category or tap Show All Highlights at the bottom of the list. 

Why is this blog about How does Apple Health work, important?

Knowing how Apple Health works is a subject of interest for many users that are interested in using the app and knowing what to expect from it. Moreover, some of the actual users also combine the recollection of information using other compatible apps, so the Apple Health, as we have seen, can become quite handy when it pulls all the information from the other apps and gathers it into one place. 

Finally, we have seen some of the instructions on how to make managing our health simpler than we thought it would be. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does Apple Health work

How does Apple Health track Steps?

The Apple Health track steps using the built-in accelerometer in your iPhone or Apple Watch. The Health app will use the accelerometer to measure the steps and distance you have travelled, so as long as you have your iPhone or Apple Watch with you, you will get the most updated information. 

How accurate is Apple Health Steps?

It is believed that Apple Health step count is pretty accurate. However, steps registered by the iPhone Health App agree very closely to those measured manually with an averaged error of about 2%. The reliability of the registered distances, however, depends on a number of factors, including walking speed and walking style of the subject and can deviate up to 30–40% from the true value.

How do I get my health app to count my steps?

If you would like the Health app to count your steps, follow these instructions:

Open your iPhone’s Health app.
At the bottom of the screen, click “Browse.”
Under “Health Categories” select “Activity.” Activity will be the first category, next to a flame icon. You can also customize the Health Categories on the Summary screen. …
Tap “Steps.”

How does Apple Watch health work?

The Apple Watch will sync with the Health app and record-related information to fitness and motion. Together, the Apple Watch’s built-in health functions and fitness trackers can be combined with a myriad of third-party apps to turn the device into one wicked health-tracking machine.

Does shaking iPhone count steps? 

It is possible that shaking your iPhone will count as steps since the built-in motion sensor hardware in your phone might recognize this movement as walking. Pacer, and other movement tracking apps, uses this sensor to count steps.

References 

Support.apple.com

wearable.com

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