Apple brings veterans’ health records into 21st century

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Apple Health Records veterans
It’s a first for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Photo: Apple

Apple today confirmed that the Health Records feature on iPhone will soon be available to veterans.

The company is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that, for the first time, U.S. veterans receiving care through the Veterans Health Administration will have access to their health records directly on their iPhone.

Apple hires famous OB-GYN to boost women’s health efforts

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christine curry
Dr. Christine Curry at her old office in Florida.
Photo: Sammy Mack/WLRN

Apple might be planning to come out with some new health features that are specifically geared toward women, based on the company’s newest big hire.

Dr. Christine Curry — an obstetrician-gynecologist that made a name for herself by treating women with the Zika virus — has reportedly been hired by Apple to bolster its women’s health projects.

How to sync your Apple workouts to Strava automatically

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Sync Apple Workout app with Strava to get the best of both worlds.
Using Apple's Workout app with Strava gives you the best of both worlds.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your shiny new Apple Watch is great for logging workouts. But it comes up short when you want to review your training progress and share your workout history with friends. Everything gets bundled in the Activity and Health apps on your iPhone, which are pretty basic.

That’s where third-party apps like Strava come in. Strava offers all the essential fitness analytics that Apple overlooks. The trouble is, Strava’s watch app sucks for logging workouts.

If only you could have the best of both worlds: logging your workouts with Apple’s excellent built-in Workout app, then syncing the data automatically to Strava. Well, thanks to a brilliant indie app called HealthFit, you can.

View your medical records from dozens of hospitals on your iPhone

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Your health records from nearly 80 hospital can be collected so they're viewable on your iPhone.
Your health records from nearly 80 hospital can be collected so they're viewable on your iPhone.
Photo: Apple

The goal of Apple’s Health Records initiative is to enable iOS users to see their medical history right on their device. Hospitals need to share their data for this to work, and Apple is getting a strong response.

When Apple introduced this addition to the Health app in January, there were just a dozen hospitals and clinics participating. That number has grown dramatically in the intervening months.

Rowing with Apple Watch is like two workouts in one. Time to grab an oar.

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Join the crew with Apple Watch
Join the crew with Apple Watch
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If running and swimming with Apple Watch don’t rock your boat, you should give rowing a try. It combines all the benefits of cardio and strength training, and you get to do it in a boat. OK, well you’re probably more likely to use a rowing machine at your local gym, but it’s still pretty cool.

The stats that Apple Watch’s built-in Workout app provides for rowers are very limited, so you might want to consider third-party alternatives. Plus, it takes some practice to develop a good rowing technique. But it’s totally worth the effort. Not only will rowing help build a ripped physique. Without this essential skill, you might one day find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms tracking is coming to Apple Watch

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ResearchKit
ResearchKit is getting better at tracking Parkinson's disease.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of MacYour Apple Watch will soon be able to track symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, thanks to a new API from Apple.

Details of Apple’s big software updates are still flowing out of the San Jose convention center as Apple dives into the details during sessions. During its session on advances in research and card frameworks Tuesday the company revealed it’s developed a new Movement Disorder API that could be groundbreaking for people with the disease.

Strength is the missing Activity Ring. Here’s how you can close it.

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Strength training is currently Apple’s weakness
Strength training is currently Apple’s weakness
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Activity Rings on your Apple Watch don’t provide a complete picture of your fitness. There is one important ring missing: Strength. The Rock didn’t get ripped just by standing up once an hour. And both the Exercise and Move rings essentially measure the same thing: cardio.

As any fitness expert will tell you, an effective workout program should combine cardio with strength training. Here’s why strength is currently Apple Watch’s weakness, and how you can use third-party apps to make sure it isn’t yours as well.

Live blog: Apple’s first big product unveiling of 2018

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Apple Education Event invitation
Apple is focusing on students and teacher for its first keynote.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first big event of 2018 is practically here! Unlike most Apple keynotes, today’s “field trip” education-oriented event in Chicago won’t be streamed live.

Don’t worry. Cult of Mac will be in attendance and we’ll be live blogging everything with up-to-the-minute info on all the new goodies. Not only is Apple expected to preview some new educational software, but we could also see a new iPad, improved Apple Pencil and maybe even a new MacBook Air.

The keynote starts Tuesday, March 27, at 10 a.m. Central time. So save this page and get ready for Apple’s most mysterious event in years.

AirPods Pro! And the cool HealthKit gadgets you haven’t heard of, on The CultCast

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Oview Sperm tester
The HealthKit Sperm tester. Yup. That's a real thing.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

A reliable source says Apple is working on audiophile-grade headphones with built-in AirPods magic. AirPods Pro? SIGN US UP. Catch the discussion on The CultCast. And stay tuned for: How Apple plans to revolutionize healthcare; the cool, weird and wacky HealthKit gadgets you’ve never heard of; and we wrap up with pro-level whistling, rock accordion, and the best actors of all time in an all-new Get to Know Ur Cultist.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off any hosting plan.

Cool new HealthKit gadgets can measure practically anything

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Cool new HealthKit-compatible gadgets at MWC
New HealthKit gadgets make health and fitness easier than ever.
Photos: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Mobile World Congress 2018 BARCELONA, Spain — Smart sperm testers, body cavity inspectors, Bluetooth pillows, holographic jump ropes and contactless thermometers. It’s all just another day at Mobile World Congress, where more and more companies show off their new HealthKit-compatible gadgets.

If you want your iPhone to know absolutely everything about what’s going on with your body, these handy medical devices are for you. Here’s what they do — and why they’re cool.