How does Apple Health work?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How does Apple Health work?” and provide you with more tips on how to get the most out of Apple Health.

“How does Apple Health work?” 

The health app on your iPhone uses the health data from your Apple Watch, iPhone, and apps that you use to view your health progress in one convenient place.

Apple Health automatically counts your steps, walking, and running distances. 

If you have an Apple Watch, the Health app also syncs its information with the Activity data on your Watch. You can also sync information with other health apps or devices that are compatible with Apple Health so you can view all your health information in one place.

To get started on Apple Health, first follow the steps to set up your Health Profile.

  1. Open the Health app, then tap the Summary tab
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner
  3. Tap on Health Details, and then tap Edit
  4. Add your basic information like age, weigh, gender and height etc
  5. Tap Done

You can even set up a Medical ID or register to be an organ donor from your profile

What data does Apple Health store?

Apple Health can store data including:

  • Steps
  • Walking + Running Distance
  • Flights Climbed
  • Heart rate
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep Analysis
  • Heart rate variability
  • Weight

This data can be achieved from the Apple Watch or from third party accessories or apps that track the above-mentioned data. Following is a list of hardware that offers a great variety of information to be stored on the Apple Health

  • Upright Go 2 posture trainer
  • La Roche-Posay My Skin UV sensor
  • Beddit Sleep monitor
  • Withings BPM Connect Wi-Fi smart blood pressure monitor
  • Withings Thermo thermometer
  • Withings Body Cardio Wi-Fi smart scales
  • Withings Body scales

The list is not limited to the above-mentioned devices. Many other devices come with their own apps as well, and many apps can be synchronized to share data with Apple health. 

How to connect an app with Apple Health?

There are many other apps that allow data to be shared with Apple Health. A few examples include: 

The easiest way to find compatible apps is to go to the Apple Health app on your device and scroll down to the Summary tab to find supported apps.

 To add information to Apple Health from other apps

  1. Open the Health app.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner. 
  3. Under Privacy, tap Apps. You can see apps that you already own that are compatible with Health. If you don’t see an app, it might not be compatible. 
  4. Tap an app and turn on the health categories that you want the app to track.

Which apps are compatible with Apple Health?

To find apps that are compatible with  Apple Health

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Browse tab.
  2. Tap a category, like Sleep. 
  3. Tap a subcategory, like Sleep Analysis.
  4. Scroll down to the apps recommended for that category, then tap an app to learn about and download it. 
  5. Go back to your privacy settings in the Health app to allow that app to read or write data in the Health app. 

Remember that you decide what information goes into the Health app, and which apps can get your information from Health. Apps that access HealthKit must have a privacy policy. Be sure to review an app’s privacy policy before allowing it access to your health and fitness information.

How does Apple Health track steps?

The Apple iPhone comes with a built-in accelerometer motion sensor that can track your steps. The step count from using your phone’s sensors is automatically updated to Apple Health. Additionally, if you use an Apple Watch your step count from Apple Watch will be synced with the Health app. Alternatively, other devices can also provide your step count as long as they are compatible with Apple Health. Examples include:

How does Apple health track sleep?

To track sleep on Apple Health, you will need third-party apps or accessories that can track your sleep. The Apple Watch comes with a Sleep app that can track your sleep when you wear the watch to bed.

Alternatively, other devices can also provide your sleep analysis as well, as long as they are compatible with Apple Health. An example includes the Garmin Connect which is capable of tracking sleep activity. If more than one app is delivering sleep data to your Apple Health you can

  • Go to Summary, then Favourites and then select Show All Health Data
  • Look for Sleep Analysis and scroll down to find Data Source and Access
  • You’ll be able to see a list of data sources that are pushing data to Apple Health
  • If there are multiple sources, Apple will select one to prioritise from which app the data is displayed. You can change this by selecting the one you would prefer.

Using an Apple Watch for fitness tracking in Apple Health

The Apple Watch comes with a powerful health monitor, which allows you to track your heart rate, step count, sleep activity, blood oxygen levels and much more. Make the most of it by connecting your Apple Watch to Apple Health.

To check data that you are receiving from your Apple Watch

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone
  2. Tap on your profile button on the top right corner of the app
  3. Tap on Devices and select Apple Watch.

You’ll get a breakdown of all the information your smartwatch is feeding to Apple Health.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How does Apple Health work?” and provided you with more tips on how to get the most out of Apple Health.


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