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Apple made a host of health-related announcements on day one of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The forthcoming iOS update will, for example, let users easily share health-related data, such as their heart rate, with loved ones or their personal physician.

With iOS 15, users can choose to securely share selected personal health data with a trusted partner or caregiver, so they can follow important alerts and changes over time. A new Sharing tab will appear in the Health application in iOS 15. This will allow users to share data with their loved ones, as well as with professionals, such as a personal physician, if the user wishes. Apple gives examples including an elderly person sharing activity data with relatives, a partner sharing fertility insights, or a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease sharing mobility data with a physiotherapist.

But that’s not all. The Health app also gets a trend analysis function for 20 types of data, starting with heart rate. This allows users to track progress and highlight changes in their general health. Alongside this, Apple is adding a Walking Steadiness indicator to iOS 15. This means that, over time and by studying the user’s daily movements, an iPhone will be able to detect a potential risk of falling.

Apple claims to guarantee the privacy of all these exchanges. Health data remains under the control of users, so they can choose which data to share and with whom. This shared data is encrypted and Apple states that it does not have access to all of this information.

The final version of iOS 15 is expected in the fall, coinciding with the release of the next generation iPhone.

For its part, Apple’s watchOS 8 will now measure users’ breathing rate — or the number of breaths per minute — while they sleep. In case of any abnormality or risk of sleep apnea, an alert will immediately notify the user.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews. (Header and featured photo by Andrew McElroy on Unsplash)