Apple Users Will Soon Be Able to Determine Their Depression 'Risk Level' with New Features

apple unveils new mental health features for ios17
Apple Unveils New Mental Health FeaturesApple/ Getty Images

Apple’s futuristic Vision Pro, a new $3,500 virtual reality headset, has been the main talking point following the company’s 2023 Keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). But aside from the tech giant’s latest hardware unveiling, Apple has also announced a new range of physical and mental health tools will soon be available to iPhone and Apple Watch users.

Updates to the Health app in the new iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and an all new Mindfulness app in watchOS 10 will "allow users to log their momentary emotions and daily moods, see valuable insights, and easily access assessments and resources," the company said during the panel.

The tools will ask users to identify their emotions and log how they are feeling in the app by choosing from answers ranging from 'very pleasant' to 'very unpleasant.'

Users can then 'see valuable insights to identify what might be contributing to their state of mind — whether it’s associations or lifestyle factors, such as sleep or exercise,' and then be able to 'describe their feelings, such as grateful or worried'.

Apple says that giving users the ability to reflect on their mental state "can help build emotional awareness and resilience" and help people to identify what may be contributing to their state of mind.

On top of this, Apple's Health app will enable users to take the same depression and anxiety assessments used in clinics, which the tech giant says can help users to "determine their risk level, connect to resources available in their region, and create a PDF to share with their doctor."

Sumbul Desai, M.D., Apple’s vice president of Health, said the goal of the new software is to "empower people to take charge of their own health journey."

"Mental health and vision health are important, but often overlooked, and we’re excited to introduce features that offer valuable new insights to provide users with an even better understanding of their health," Desai added. "These insights help support users in their daily decisions and offer more informed conversations with their doctors."

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