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Smartphones, watches and health apps

If you have a smartphone (iPhone, Galaxy etc) then you’ve got a very powerful device to help you manage your health! Add in a smartwatch like an AppleWatch or Garmin and you’ve just added a whole new level to health management.

For this article, we’ll focus on the iPhone, since Apple is far more dedicated in the development of health apps and tools than any other device company. All of your health information is managed through the Health app on an iPhone. Inside newer iPhones (iPhone8 and up) are sensors that can detect your speed of movement (accelerometer) and a sensor to detect when you climb stairs. 

In the Health app, you can also enter your medical information (same for Android phones, but arguably less secure) such as height, weight, medications and conditions. With both iPhone and Android, depending on your province and doctor, you can also have access to your medical records.

Add in a SmartWatch like Apple Watch and you have a device that can constantly monitor your heart health and now, some can monitor your respiration and body temperature. Synched with your phone, over time you can gain huge insights into your health. 

There are a number of apps you can add to your SmartWatch and phone as well. Some are free and the really good ones are paid, either a one-time payment or as a subscription. It depends on what you want and need. We’ll review some in another article. Ones you should avoid however, are the free ones supported by advertising, as you don’t know what health data is being sent to third-parties. So just avoid them.

The main Health app in iPhone is easy to set up and use. If you’re going for a hike, run or walk or doing a workout, you can open the app on your Smartphone or Watch and turn it on when doing an activity. This way it specifically focuses on your workout and you can see the results afterwards. It’s like an instant reward!

If you’re diabetic, there are apps that connect to little patches you wear on your skin and you can monitor sugar levels after meals and be more aware of where you stand. Over time, you get a great picture into your eating habits as well.

For those with added heart conditions, having an Apple Watch can help you be aware of changes in rhythms and even earn you when your heart rate gets too fast or slow. There have already been instances where an Apple Watch has saved people’s lives from heart attacks.

So what about privacy? Apple has developed a very unique way of protecting your data called “hashing” which is incredibly good at ensuring that any company, even Apple, that gets your data doesn’t get specific details about who you are.

These amazing devices can play a critical role in helping you manage your health and it’s data you can show your healthcare professionals too that can help them help you better.

More Insight: Check out this article on the 10 superfoods that can help you live longer.

Author: Giles Crouch is the Group Publisher and COO for HUM@Nmedia, the parent brand for Silver Magazine and Optimyz Magazine. He is also a digital anthropologist and writes on the intersection of humans and technology.