Apple’s Fitness and Social Accountability designed to leave no one behind

Apple Fitness and Group scores

Apple’s new thinking around systems and processes for motivating and managing users’ fitness levels is presented in this newly approved patent.

The patent ‘Fitness and Social Accountability’ was approved today and provided glimpses of Apple’s unique approach to solving chronic health conditions resulting from a sedentary lifestyle.

While activity monitors today can track the amount of physical activity performed by a user via different metrics, they fail to motivate users to engage in physical activity.

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Apple Fitness+’s mission: leave no one behind

In many instances, such monitors operate solely on an individual basis and therefore fail to take advantage of group-based physical activity motivators.

In the future, Users will be able to review different activity/wellness groups on their devices and join a group/s of choice. For example, there could be a group for Type 2 diabetes in your city.

Users will customize their notifications to get fitness-related stats of selected users/groups on their devices based on a frequency they determine.

How leave no-one behind matters

In this overall theme of group fitness motivation, Apple is also looking at methods to develop a group fitness score to motivate the entire group.

The data displayed will show the group of members’ aggregate progress in reaching each of their individual fitness goals and displaying a group goal progress indicator indicating the group of members’ aggregate progress. 

Elements of the existing Burn Bar functionality in Fitness+ could be customized to fit the group you have subscribed to.

Apple's Fitness Plus new BURN BAR

Your diabetes group could get a notification from Fitness+ processes about an upcoming series of workouts or sessions most applicable for your group based on the different parameters.

This allows members of the group to check out the sessions, workout together, and see group results along with your individual metrics.

The theme emerging here is that the Fitness levels of an individual can be greatly improved with group motivation instead of inundating users with many complex metrics on their wearable devices. 

Group Psychology and fitness levels

The approach explored here is not unique because many users are used to working out in groups.

Other wearable makers such as Whoop band also have a similar concept to join a collection of teams.

Apple’s thinking is to make the process as simple as possible so that users can easily subscribe to a Fitness+ group or create their own groups based on common interests.

These groups can then participate together in a Fitness+ session, leverage notifications that specifically are relevant to them, and motivate each other to make the best out of the fitness sessions.

We could probably see some of these group-based mechanics in the next iteration of Fitness+.

As remote monitoring evolves and the company can securely track more health indicators, users will see important metrics such as the aggregate blood sugar level score of a group and take appropriate steps to manage their health.

Apple is already exploring a concept around the Fitness/Wellness registry.

The Patent US10872536 was recently approved.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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