Kevin Lynch, Vice President of Technology at Apple, talked about health in iOS 15 and watchOS 8 that will arrive later this year (via TechCrunch).

Highlights

A new feature in watchOS 8 called Walking Steadiness:

Walking steadiness […] actually came from fall detection. We were working on fall detection, and that’s been really awesome, but as we’re working on it, we’re brainstorming about how we can actually help people not fall, rather than just detecting that they fell. It’s pretty tricky to do that in the moment — there’s not much you could do once that’s actually happening.

Another new watchOS 8 feature lets people share health data:

It enables conversations, where maybe people wouldn’t maybe naturally talk about how much they’ve been walking lately or how their sleep’s been going,” he said. “If you’re up for sharing that, then it can be a conversation that maybe you otherwise wouldn’t have had. And then it’s the same with doctor interactions; when you’re interacting with a doctor, they may not have a great view of your daily health.

Mr. Lynch also hinted that future AirPods may get health sensors: “We already do sensor fusion across some devices today, and I think there’s all kinds of potential here.”

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

Andrew: This talk provides an insight into what distinguishes an actively growing and innovating business culture from one that is either stagnant or satisfied with ‘good enough’. It also reflects how a clinician would process this: yes, it’s great that we can detect X, now it would be even better if we could identify who is at risk of X, and beyond that, perhaps prevent them from ever getting X.  The implications of Apple Watch being able to detect gait unsteadiness will have wider application still for other types of abnormal and involuntary movements, that themselves will be suggestive, if… Read more »