Apple Adds Walking Steadiness Health App

In recent months, The Oldish has reported on several studies that link walking patterns, speed, and gait with health outcomes among older adults – changes in walking stability can be an early warning sign of physical or cognitive decline.  Now, a recent Apple operating system update in the Health App contains Walking Steadiness which could help notify loved ones and healthcare providers of possible changes in health by tracking certain metrics. 

According to a Time Magazine Health and Technology report, the Apple iOS15 update, which went live on Monday, introduces several major new health features including a data sharing feature, trend analysis and notifications, and novel health metrics.  The Health app is designed to help people better understand their own health data while ensuring the privacy and security of this information. 

Using an updated iPhone or Apple Watch (or other compatible devices) the Health app can share valuable health information with loves ones or the wearer’s physician.  For adult children who may not be able to visit with elderly parents in person on a regular basis, this function could offer peace of mind and an early indication of a health issue. 

One of the new features of the Health app is a metric called Walking Steadiness which uses built-in iPhone sensors to track balance, strength, and gait, and can alert users if they are at risk for falling.   Falls are a leading cause of injury and hospitalization among older adults.  Falls frequently contribute to a loss of mobility and independence and can often speed a move into assisted living. 

The Walking Steadiness function, because it doesn’t require a secondary device to track data, is an exciting new feature that could empower users with timely information that could help prevent health problems down the line with proper interventions.  Learn more about how to set up walking steadiness measuring on an iPhone 8 or later with iOS 15 by following this link – you can also opt whether or not to automatically share walking steadiness data notifications with friends or family.