Apple’s latest iOS 17 update brings some exciting new additions to the Health app, giving users more tools to understand and take charge of their physical and mental wellbeing. From mood tracking to eye health, the Health app in iOS 17 packs in some handy new ways to monitor aspects of health and wellness.
One of the most anticipated new Health app features in iOS 17 is mood logging. The Health app now allows users to track their mood over time, helping to identify patterns and providing useful mental health insights.
There are two main ways mood can be logged in the iOS 17 Health app:
Daily Mood Logging
The Health app has a new “Mindfulness” section where users can log their overall mood for the day. You simply select a mood emoji that best represents how you felt that day. The mood options include:
- Great 😊
- Good 🙂
- Okay 😐
- Bad 🙁
- Awful 😞
Logging your daily mood helps the Health app identify patterns over time. For example, you may notice that your mood declines during high stress work weeks. Seeing these patterns can help you identify triggers and take steps to improve your mental wellbeing.
Momentary Mood Logging
In addition to logging your overall daily mood, you can also make multiple momentary mood entries throughout the day.
Simply open the Health app and tap the “Log Momentary Mood” option to choose an emoji that represents your current feelings. You can add notes about factors that may be impacting your mood, like stress, lack of sleep, a fun activity you did, etc.
Logging these quick momentary mood snapshots helps paint a more dynamic picture of your mental health. You can see how your mood fluctuates during the day or in response to certain events.
iOS 17 brings some enhancements to the Health app’s existing sleep tracking features. The Sleep section of the Health app now offers more insights into sleep quality and trends over time.
The Health app now provides more detail about time spent in different sleep stages each night. It will show your duration in core sleep, REM sleep, and light sleep.
Seeing your sleep stage breakdown can help identify issues like whether you’re getting enough core sleep or perhaps spending too much time in light sleep.
Each night’s sleep is now assigned a sleep score in the Health app to help gauge sleep quality. Factors like total time slept, time in each sleep stage, and number of awakenings affect your score.
The sleep score makes it easy to quickly assess if a night’s sleep was poor, fair, good, or excellent. Checking your trends over time can reveal whether you typically get better quality sleep during certain periods.
Wind Down Recommendations
To help improve sleep, the Health app may now offer personalized wind down suggestions based on your sleep data.
For example, if you consistently have low sleep scores after using electronics late at night, the app may suggest winding down your evening earlier without screens. Implementing the app’s wind down recommendations can lead to higher quality sleep.
Eye Health Tools
Maintaining eye health is crucial, and iOS 17 adds some new ways to monitor vision right in the Health app.
Eye Health Records
You can now choose to share eye health records from your healthcare providers directly with the Health app. Eye exam results, glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and eye disease history can be included.
Having this eye health data centralized within the Health app makes it easy for you and your healthcare team to access. It may also help identify early signs of vision changes or eye disease.
Night Vision Assessment
A new visual acuity assessment in the Health app lets you periodically check your night vision acuity.
Using your iPhone camera, you take the quick night vision test with each eye. The Health app will record your results over time, along with recommendations if any vision changes are detected.
Regularly checking night vision can help identify subtle declines in visual sharpness or contrast sensitivity early on.
Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises
Managing stress and anxiety is crucial for mental health. iOS 17 brings some new mindfulness and breathing exercise tools to the Health app.
You can set the Health app to provide occasional mindfulness reminders throughout the day. Reminders prompt you to take a moment to actively notice the present – your thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and surroundings.
Scheduling regular mindfulness reminders can help reduce stress and anxiety by intentionally orienting you to the here-and-now.
The Health app now provides guided breathing exercises you can do anytime. You can choose from exercises focused on promoting calm, reducing anxiety, aiding sleep, or finding focus.
Built-in breathing exercises provide an easy way to take a few minutes to breathe deeply and purposefully. Making breathing exercises part of your daily routine can enhance your mental and physical wellbeing.
The Health App on iPad
With iOS 17, the Health app is now fully optimized for iPad. On iPadOS 17, you can access a dashboard view of your key Health app data.
Core health metrics like activity, sleep, mindfulness minutes, and menstrual cycle tracking are visible at a glance. Tapping into any of these categories provides more in-depth data and logging tools.
Having the Health app on iPad makes it even easier to stay on top of your health stats and stick with wellness habits like exercise and meditation. The expanded screen real estate offers an immersive experience for breathing exercises and other Health tools.
Shared Health Data
The Health app now enables sharing health data with selected family members, caregivers, or healthcare providers.
To share your health data, you send an invitation via the Health app specifying which data categories the recipient can view. For example, you may choose to share physical activity stats with a personal trainer but not menstrual cycle information.
Sharing selective Health data with family, caregivers, and healthcare teams helps facilitate collaboration and improved care.
Face Scan for Health Data
iOS 17 brings Face ID security to the Health app for approved health data sharing. You can enable facial scan authentication before approved family members or healthcare providers access your shared health data.
Activating Face ID for Health adds an extra layer of privacy and security to ensure only intended recipients are able to view sensitive health tracking data.
Privacy and Security
Privacy is a top priority for the Health app. All health data is encrypted end-to-end. Apple has no access to the data logged in your Health app.
You have full control over which data is tracked and shared. New features like Face ID restricted sharing further reinforce users’ privacy over their personal health information.
The updated Health app aims to provide iOS 17 users with the tools they need to better understand, manage, and improve their health and wellbeing. Seamless Apple Watch integration makes health tracking easier than ever.
From mood and sleep tracking to eye health tools, breathing exercises, and expanded Health data sharing, the iOS 17 Health app introduces some practical new ways to monitor your overall wellness. As Apple continues enhancing the Health app experience, users can look forward to even more insightful tracking and analysis regarding their physical and mental health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main new mental health features in iOS 17’s Health app?
The main new mental health tools include daily mood logging, momentary mood tracking throughout the day, mindfulness reminders, breathing exercises, and tools for sharing mental health data with providers.
Does iOS 17’s Health app provide more sleep data?
Yes, the Health app in iOS 17 tracks sleep stages like REM, core, and light sleep. It also generates a daily sleep quality score and provides personalized wind down suggestions for better sleep.
Can I access my health data on iPad now?
With iOS 17, the Health app is now fully available on iPadOS, offering expanded data dashboards and tracking tools.
How does iOS 17 improve the security of my health data?
New Face ID restricted sharing ensures only your approved recipients can access your shared health data. All Health app data continues to be fully encrypted end-to-end.
What new eye health features are included?
You can now store eye exam records and prescriptions in the Health app. A night vision acuity assessment tool is also included for periodically checking eye health.