The Health app on your iPhone provides an array of features to help you store, share, and track your medications, vaccine and medical records, allergies, fitness data, and more.
Apple’s Health app(Opens in a new window) offers a wealth of information related to your medical health and history, your fitness and physical activity, and your vital statistics, all accessible from your iPhone. But there’s even more to the app than meets the eye. You can add your medications and set up alerts for when to take them, share your medical info with your doctor and loved ones, sign up for organ donation, and keep track of your overall health. Here are 10 ways to get the most out of Apple’s Health app.
The medical ID screen in the Health app contains information about your medical conditions, allergies, medications, blood type, and emergency contacts. In the event of an emergency, these details can be accessed by other people, such as family members and medical personnel, from your phone’s Lock screen.
To set up your ID and add the necessary data, open the Health app and tap your profile icon in the upper right. Choose Medical ID, then tap the Get Started button.
You can then add your date of birth, medical conditions, medical notes, allergies and reactions, medications, blood type, organ donor status, weight, height, primary language, and emergency contact. Be sure to turn on the switches for Show When Locked and Share During Emergency Call under the Emergency Call section to make your Medical ID accessible from the Lock screen during an emergency.
To access your medical ID yourself, just open the Health app, tap your profile icon, and select Medical ID. But what happens if you’re impaired and unable to use your phone? Someone who needs to view that information, such as a family member or medical professional, can access it from the Lock screen.
If the iPhone has a Home button, tap it to display the keypad screen. For phones without a Home button, swipe up to reveal the same screen. Tap Emergency, then choose Medical ID to display all your Medical ID information.
You can register as an organ donor directly from the Health app. Tap your profile icon to open your profile screen, then select Organ Donation. Tap the Sign Up with Donate Life button. Confirm the existing information, then add the required details. Tap Continue, then review the information at the next screen and tap Complete Registration with Donate Life.
When your iPhone and Apple Watch are paired, you can be alerted if a certain medical condition or ailment is detected. From the Health app, open your profile screen and tap Health Checklist. Apple Watch owners will see options for Fall Detection, Low Heart Rate Notifications, Irregular Rhythm Notifications, Walking Steadiness Notifications, and Noise Notifications.
Tap Enable next to each option in the Inactive section that you wish to monitor. Additional settings can be set for each item, such as keeping Fall Detection on at all times or only during workouts. You can also set the threshold for Low Heart Rate Notifications. When enabled, each item will appear in the Active section.
You can add and view your medical records from supported hospitals and healthcare facilities. For this to work, you will need an account with the medical provider, which you should have set up from their associated web portal. From the Health app, open your profile screen and tap Health Records, then select Get Started.
You’re then asked to grant permission for the app to access your location. Select Allow While Using App or Allow Once to see a list of nearby hospitals and medical centers. Tap the name of the facility that has your medical records, then choose Connect and sign in with your account. Confirm that you want access, and the Health app creates a connection.
After connecting with your healthcare providers, you can view your past medical records from the Health app. Tap the Browse icon, then swipe down to the Health Records section. Tap All Records to see all your records from every provider you have added to the app.
You can also tap a specific category, such as Allergies or Lab Results, to see only those results. Tap a specific provider to see all the records from that facility. You can also tap a specific result to view more details and historical data.
Fewer places are requiring that you present proof of COVID-19 vaccination these days, but with the pending rollout of an Omicron-focused booster on the horizon, it may be beneficial to have your vaccine records at the ready. On the iPhone, the easiest way to add vaccination records(Opens in a new window) to the Health app is with a QR code.
Naturally, it’s a little difficult to scan a QR code that’s on your phone with your phone, but you can save an image of your QR code, long-press on it, tap Open in Health and then select Add to Wallet & Health. Or, email records with a QR code to yourself or upload it to a cloud-storage service, open it on another device, and scan the code with your iPhone. Tap Add to Wallet & Health. Find it later via Browse > Health Records > Immunizations > COVID-19 Vaccine.
New with iOS 16 is an option that lets you add and manage your medications. You can even set timers to alert you when to take each one. To set this up, tap the Browse icon at the bottom and select Medications. Tap Add a Medication, then type the name of the medication or scan the name and dosage on a bottle with the phone’s camera. Choose the type of medication, dosage, and frequency. At the correct time, a notification will appear to remind you to take the medication.
If you have an Apple Watch, the Health app automatically sync, stores, and displays your activity. But even without an Apple Watch, the app records certain data, especially if you’re using iOS 16. To view this information in the Health app, tap the Browse icon and select Activity.
You’ll see stats on your walking and running distances, number of minutes standing, number of minutes exercising, number of flights climbed, and number of steps walked. Tap a specific stat to see its historical data.
To view your latest health records, activity data, and other highlights, tap the Summary icon at the bottom of the screen. Swipe down the screen to view each type of data. Tap Show All Highlights to view additional highlights. Tap a specific highlight to see its recent results.
You can share certain medical and health data with other people, including family members and your own doctor. Tap the Sharing icon at the bottom of the Health app, then tap Share with Someone. You can then choose a family member and pick the specific data you wish to share. Tap Share, and the person will receive an invitation to view your data.
To share health information with your doctor or medical facility, tap Sharing, then choose the Share with your doctor link. Tap Next to see a list of compatible providers. For you to share information this way, your doctor must support the feature, so check with them first before trying this. If you see your doctor, tap their name and connect your account.
Sign up for our Weekly Apple Brief for the latest news, reviews, tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.
Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!
I’ve been working for PCMag since early 2016 writing tutorials, how-to pieces, and other articles on consumer technology. Beyond PCMag, I’ve written news stories and tutorials for a variety of other websites and publications, including CNET, ZDNet, TechRepublic, Macworld, Popular Science, Time, Fortune, US News & World Report, and AARP Magazine. I spent seven years writing breaking news for CNET as one of the site’s East Coast reporters. I’ve also written two books for Wiley & Sons—Windows 8: Five Minutes at a Time and Teach Yourself Visually LinkedIn.
Read Lance’s full bio
PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering lab-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.
© 1996-2022 Ziff Davis. PCMag Digital Group
PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant.