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4 most important digital health news from WWDC 2020 by Apple

WWDC is the biggest conference Apple uses to communicate both user and developer-oriented platform updates. This year, due to COVID-19, the conference was organized fully remotely for the first time in history. Apple did a great job preparing high-quality content with a number of improvements for their all major computing platforms. There is a number of items you should pay attention to when building a health tech product.

Home screen widgets

Widgets

Apple completely reorganized iOS home screen. The long-requested feature was finally delivered. Update allows us to place interactive widgets among the regular app icons. Widgets support multiple sizes. They are organized with Smart Stacks using time, location, and activity to display relevant items. According to the data provided by Apple average iOS user looks at the home screen 90 times a day. It provides huge potential. Thanks to glimpsable widgets you can get much better visibility of the data collected by your digital health product. Widgets may be interactive. By providing some form of buttons you can direct user to a particular section of the app making the entire experience of your product much smoother.

More info about widgets

Apple App Clips

AppClips

App Clips is another significant update provided by the company from Cupertino. New App Store feature lets you provide a functional, lightweight version of the app without the need of searching or full installation process. App Clip is triggered using a number of techniques including QR codes, NFC, or a link in messenger or email. It may be especially useful when working with fresh users of your IoT product. Instead of providing them write instructions you can incorporate visual or NFC based tag into your product. They can be detected using a camera or NFC reader built into the phone. Using App Clip you can expose the basic functionality of your product together with sample data it provides. It helps encourage users to install a full app from the App Store and get the most of the product.

More info about App Clips

Privacy

privacy

Apple was always taking privacy very seriously. This time they’ve decided to spend quite some time during the keynote to discuss the subject and provide some new valuable features. As developers and creators of health tech products we should keep our practices in consistency with the market we work with. Transparency behind data protection is very important when working with health data. It should be treated equally important in our software products. Thanks to the App Store update presented by Apple we finally have a tool to provide detailed privacy policy information on your application page.

If you are working mainly with iOS platform “Sign in with Apple” become an interesting option. It allows to sign up or sign in to your app without a hustle. It also provides quick and secure way of managing your users’ data. According to the update there is already 200 million accounts created what provides a healthy user base for your product. A new option to convert existing accounts into Apple accounts announced during the WWDC keynote is another factor that may speed up the number of users.

More info about privacy updates

HealthKit update

ECG_DATA

Not everything can be shown on stage. There is a number of framework improvements released along with iOS 14 that are important for health-related products. The main framework that you should be interested in is HealthKit, an essential framework that integrates health and fitness data.

You can now use Electrocardiogram API to access heart-related data collected by Apple Watch. The data can be then used for further analysis, and combined with other information provide faster diagnosis and treatment. OS from Apple allows users to log and track their health symptoms. In iOS 14 There are 13 new symptoms that can be tracked, as well as four new mobility data types. That gives 39 symptoms in total available in the new version of the system, providing much detailed information about our health

More info about HealthKit updates

Wrap up

We are aware that WWDC 2020 Keynote was only a tip of the iceberg - ahead of us is still a whole week of events that we are going to follow and share with you our opinions in the following days.

We are very excited about all the new features showcased during WWDC 2020. They provide a number of new opportunities for the digital healh market in the way we can support our users.

Let us know if you have any questions or need assistance in incorporating them into your product.

 
Marcin Klimek

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Enthusiast of the Internet of Things actively involved in shaping the future! Addicted squash player.