Hey Apple Health, did you forget about women?

“Apple’s new Health app appears to track everything measurable about the body — sleep patterns, blood alcohol content, heart rate, inhaler usage, times fallen, you name it,” Michelle Quinn reports for The Mercury News.

“Via the censors on my iPhone, Health charts the stairs I climb and steps I take without me asking. There is even a category called the ‘peripheral perfusion index,’ which I’ve learned is the strength of one’s pulse,” Quinn reports. “But the app doesn’t yet offer a way for women to track their menstrual cycles, something that many health professionals consider essential.”

“You may ask, ‘So what?’ There’s plenty of menstrual and fertility tracking apps out there. Surely, Apple’s Health app doesn’t have to do it all,” Quinn reports. “But Health aims to be a composite profile of one’s health and fitness, a dashboard of data and analysis. The vision is that Health will pull information from an ecosystem of wellness apps still being built as well as data one enters, all of which will help answer the doctor’s question, ‘How are you doing?'”

“Apple Health invites users to identify their sex, but its many other categories are gender neutral as far as I can detect. There are neither questions about prostate checkups, nor questions about fertility cycles and breast lump checks,” Quinn reports. “And that is common with health tracking apps, which often try to make the product gender neutral without a way to customize it. But that’s a problem.”

Read more in the full article here.

55 Comments

      1. @ Tired Of Returds
        Just because you take offense to a man pointing out that a woman on the rag can be a bitch, doesn’t mean it’s true.

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        In short, I prefer to just avoid you bitches.

        1. While I appreciate the thought that I’m a lesbian, I assure you I’m a guy. But the one thing I have in common with them and also you is that I really love Beaver.

    1. OK, you’ve convinced me; Carl’s Jr. doesn’t deserve my business, you are a misogynist, alcohol is a very significant part of your life and you are disgusting.

      Boycott Carl’s Jr.

      1. I have had it with Carl’s Jr. after reading the tripe you keep on posting. We have a choice of where we eat and I encourage everyone to always avoid Carl’s Jr. It is run by the scum of the earth who hate women. It is not a joke Brando Drunkard.

        Boycott Carl’s Jr.

  1. This sounds like a whole lot of Michelle’s problem and not a whole lot of Apple’s problem. It’s tiring to see people jump up non-stop and tell Apple that they are being insensitive or racist or misogynist or whatever because they haven’t provided XYZ. Michelle never explains why all the apps that already exist don’t fulfill this need other than, well they aren’t an Apple app. Apple also doesn’t track my weight and reps for all my workouts but you know what, a million other apps do….and that’s Okay.

    1. The Health app does include weight tracking. I have my Withings scale data (weight, body fat, body mass index) automatically uploading that info via Bluetooth each morning to my iPhone’s Withings app, which then shares it with the Health app in the background for consolidation and charting daily.

      1. Unfortunately, I think Apple has not included menstruation into Health applications because it feels obligation to instil those fake “morals” on how anything even remotely related to something sexual is bad and banned.

        To be honest, I consider those puritanical “morals” to be disdainful, as they have nothing to do with actual morals. Everything about legal sex is absolutely moral. Apple should lift those insane prohibitions (as well as Facebook/Instagram about breasts).

    2. I agree, PacoZoob. It makes sense for Apple to start out its HealthKit initiative by addressing the most basic and critical functions – heart rate, etc. so the fact that it is largely “gender neutral” at this point is not surprising. Over time, the ecosystem will be refined and extended to address all sorts of health factors – seizures, menstrual cycles, frequency of orgasms…whatever. This is a hit piece.

    3. @PacoZoob,
      You should read the article. Michelle both asks the question of why the other apps don’t fulfill this need and answers it (paragraphs 4 & 5).

      The reason is that Apple Health is supposed to consolidate all health data from various sources so that it can be used as a whole for diagnosis, and for women, their menstrual cycle can be a critical set of data.

      Also, she’s not only not “jumping up non-stop and telling Apple’s they’re being misogynistic”, but she even addresses that in the article with “I doubt Apple engineers and product designers purposely excluded female users” and “It’s also worth noting that there’s no indication the app was geared for men, although that has not raised as many concerns.”

      The fact of the matter is that Apple doesn’t make 100% of their products 100% perfect from the moment they’re launched. That’s why they have updates. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out the areas where Apple could improve their products and services.

      This seems like a legitimate area where Apple could make a relatively easy improvement that would have a huge impact on a number of users.

      Just because it has to do with an improvement that would affect women doesn’t meant it’s an issue of misogyny. Additionally, she’s suggesting the app also include male specific health as well.

    1. I was wondering if anyone but me was wondering what they needed someone to edit out anything objectional about content on their iPhones. . . or alternately a misspelled incense burner. . .

  2. I can see the default setup as being gender neutral. But I can’t imagine their Health app system won’t eventually customize to the user, especially male versus female, for a variety of reasons beyond just prostates and periods. We’re looking at a Version 1.0 Effect. Once Version 2.0 Effect sets in we’ll see more features than we can comprehend.

  3. Let’s not forget all the health information that can be provided during fertilization and pregnancy. No more need for a take home pregnancy kit, there might even be a way to have that information sent out to others (potential relatives) so that they can act accordingly. There might even be a way to measure lactation production to ensure that the baby will be properly fed, and no doubt a sensor for detecting labour and automatically contacting the nearby health facilities. These are all potential uses for Apple Health, especially for those who see it as a panacea for all the feedback one can get for a living person.

  4. As a person who lives in this world with a wife and have a daughter and a mother and four sisters, I know that women have several other health concerns that have not been given a function placeholder in the Health App. For the rest of you who live in your mother’s basement, you should get out more often and meet some women, get married and have children (if you are mature enough).

    1. Oh dear! Someone oh-so anxious to show off his immense wisdom and maturity. Perhaps we should all spill our drinks on ourselves as we check the time on our wristwatch because YOU entered the party. To you, sir, I suggest you ” rel=”nofollow”>Abide By the Greater Truth.

  5. There is a huge range of potential data sets that are important to people involved in a specific medical condition. Sure, recording my PSA would have been nice before the prostate was removed, but that isn’t an app I would pay for,

    Some like my wife have had significant medical issues. Hers was acute leukemia and an app, integrated with Numbers, to track her blood results over her 23 months of treatments would have been worth a lot to her – but she did set up her medical journal with results and also the list of chemo she was on at the time (she had 3 sets).

    Small apps, like one for periods, should be showing up fairly fast on the AppStore. Might already be there, with just the integration with Health needed to be finished.

  6. The perfect gadget for women is an insertable temperature and moisture sensor with Bluetooth interface. An iPhone app would let any man in range know if she’s getting hot and wet.

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