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Apple has released a preview for the new version of iOS, which will feature updates across a number of Apple’s own apps, including Health.  Part of the update to Health will be a menu that allows users to find third-party apps to help them track certain metrics in Health.  These menus will be available for a number of categories including weight, workouts, and sleep.  For example, when a user goes into the weight section, they will see suggestions to download apps like MyFitnessPal and others.

Unrelated to the Health app but very important for personal well-being is another new feature – Night Shift – that we particularly loved.  “Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep.  Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location.  Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes.  In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings.”  This feature mitigates the adverse impact looking at your device has on your sleep.

Apple’s decision to play nice with third-party apps is a huge vote of confidence for the consumer wellness market and will certainly serve as a catalyst for continued growth in mobile app usage of health and fitness apps.  Even Apple, arguably the greatest technology company in the history of the world, believes in the value of aggregating third-party health and wellness apps.  Employers could learn a great deal from their perspective.  Companies shouldn’t rely on rigid, proprietary technologies; rather, they should build employee wellness programs that integrate with leading health and wellness technologies.  To learn more about this approach, download this free eBook on why a consumer wellness strategy makes so much sense for organizations looking to build leading employee wellness programs.

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