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Your iPhone Will Soon Have These Awesome Health Features

Apple is coming out with a new update.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Apple's periodic new-product announcements are highly anticipated and arrive with much fanfare, as tech geeks and more casual fans salivate over new technically advanced gadgets. But the biggest headlines coming out of this week's WWDC involved new features coming to the iPhone via Apple's upcoming iOS 16 and Apple Watch OS9. Just about everyone who's sent an unfortunate message is excited about the impending ability to edit and unsend texts. But somewhat buried beneath that news is that new features are coming to the iPhone that will make it easier to live healthier. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Medications

Woman holding pills on her hand.
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The new Medications feature is a way to manage your medications and supplements. You can set schedules and reminders to take your medications on time. You'll also be able to use the iPhone's camera to scan a prescription label to import information, and you can receive alerts about possible drug interactions. You'll also be able to create a PDF of your health information from the Health app to share with your healthcare provider. 

2

Exercise

woman jogging along a trail
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The Fitness app will be available to all iPhone users, even if you don't own an Apple Watch. You'll be able to set a daily movement goal, then track steps, distance, and workouts to fulfill that goal. You can also share your results with friends. Via the Apple Watch, you can track heart rate zones during your workout. Runners will be able to track their workout metrics in new ways, including stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. Swimmers will be able to track their stroke efficiency.

3

Afib History

heart rate
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A new FDA-cleared feature of the Apple Watch, the atrial fibrillation history feature allows you to track when your heart shows signs of AFib. You can receive weekly notifications and gauge what other factors may affect your heart rhythm, like sleep, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.

4

Sleep Stages

woman sleeping peacefully in bed with her dog
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Also new on the Apple Watch: More advanced sleep tracking. The watch's accelerometer and heart rate sensor will be able to track stages of sleep—you'll be able to tell when you're in REM, core, or deep sleep, how long you're asleep, your heart rate, and respiratory rate, via the iPhone's Health app.

5

When Are These Available?

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The new iPhone and Apple Watch updates are due to be released in September. It will be available for free; all you need is an Apple Watch 4 or later paired with an iPhone 8 or later. 

And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael
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