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Apple Watch OS 8 Software now Includes Gait Analysis

Apple's revamped Health app has added a new health metric, called "Walking Steadiness" as part of its latest watch software release.

The new Walking Steadiness feature uses the watch's built-in sensors to track the client's balance, strength and gait. The risk analysis features can alert clients if they are at an elevated risk of falling. The Apple Health App now also includes exercise tutorials that are designed to boost a client's steadiness and strength, which can help prevent falls in the future.

Unfortunately, according to the CDC, the rate of deaths caused by falls increased 30% from 2007 to 2016 for older adults living in the United States. Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries and one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.

Falls are caused by a number of factors such as lower body weakness, vision problems, Vitamin D deficiency, and the use of certain medicines such as sedatives or even some over-the-counter medicines. Older adults can reduce their risk for falls by adopting an exercise routine such as Tai Chi that improves leg strength and balance. Another preventative measure is to get your vision checked at least once a year and to update your eyeglass lenses if necessary.

If you would like to incorporate Apple's Gait Analysis tools into your fall prevention toolkit, our Care Associates can show you how set up your watch and review the tracking data as part of our Remote Monitoring services.

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