Apple has improved its health data sharing tools in iOS16 and added the capability to request someone else’s data. Here are some of the things you can do to manage how information is shared.
Health Data Settings in iOS16 (Preview)
Apple has updated its Health app with new capabilities in iOS16, which includes medication monitoring, but the major change is in sharing health data with others in iOS16. With new updates, it’s now possible to request health data from others in iOS16
You may share any of your health data information with anyone who would need to refer to it, and they can do the same if they need to. So information sharing has become more fluid and easy with the new update..
Important updates to Health data sharing
Now, if you are caring for someone, you can ask them to share their health data with you. That’s potentially useful since you can often be caring for someone elderly who isn’t going to search their iPhone to find this health app.
Instead of them nodding yes and saying they’ll get right on it, you can use your health app to send them an invitation. They’ll get that on their iPhone, and can follow the prompts through to do the job.
Alternatively, if you or they are registered with a connected health institution, the app now also includes the ability to make a PDF of your available health records.
How to ask someone to share their health data
- Open the Health app
- Tap the sharing icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose to Ask Someone to Share
- Pick whether to invite them via Mail, Message, or so on. Send the invitation
If you choose to ask them over email, the default mail message is a bit sparse. It has no subject, and the body contains solely a link.
When they tap on that link on an iPhone, it automatically launches their health app and takes them to the section about sharing. Note that if they try to open it on either an iPad or a Mac, they get taken to Safari and a “server not found” error.
So all in all, you might want to add a line or two to that email to tell them what’s going on.
Whereas if you select to send the invitation over Messages, they receive a little health image, the title “Sharing Invitation,” and some standard text about you wanting to share their information. Choose who you want to share it with.
How to share your Health data
- Open the Health app
- Tap on the sharing icon in the bottom row.
- Choose to share it with someone.
- Type the name of the person you want to share it with.
- If their name appears in the list, tap to select them.
- Either accept the app’s suggestions or manually choose what you want to share.
- Keep pressing Next to go through the possible sharing topics.
- Check the final page, “Here’s What You’ve Chosen to Share.”
- When you’re happy, tap Share.
- You may not see the person you want appear in the list. Their name will only be shown if they are on iOS 15 or later — and if they are in your Contacts list.
And you will see an awful lot of health sharing options that you can elect to share with them. With iOS 16, it’s about 117 different health topics, ranging from fall detection alerts to menstrual cycle details.
How to choose what to share
Even if you go through all of the setting up of sharing health data, the default is that no information will be shared. You have to positively choose what you want to share with someone.
Apple does make it as simple as possible, though. When you go through setting up sharing, you can accept the Health app’s suggestions and that will share about half a dozen health topics.
Those include pretty commonly shared ones such as whether you get a high heart rate warning, or a low heart rate one.
Choose instead to set up what you want to share manually, and now you get into a list of major topics like Heart, Hearing, Activity, and so on.
Each section offers the major options right there and you can tap to turn on whether you want to share this data.
For most sections, though, there are further options. Tap See All, and you get the full list of health topics under that section or category.
Every health topic available in this sharing part of the Health app has its own individual on/off toggle. Sections will also have a Turn On All button to save you tap, tap, tapping away through a long list.
But the point is that there is nothing at all that you must share, and every single thing you do want to share is entirely under your control.
Start choosing what data to share
If you change your mind,
Over time, you may just no longer need to share your health data with someone. Or perhaps your situation has changed and it would now be more useful to share more.
If you want to add something extra to share with someone then go back through the Sharing section of the Health app and turn that on.
Or if you want to stop sharing some details, go back through the app to turn those particular ones off.
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