iOS 16 health and fitness update: Medication tracking, sleep phases, iPhone activity tracking and more

with apple iOS 16 A new medication management feature has been added to the Health app, designed to allow users to keep track of their medications to ensure that no doses are missed. The feature works with a new Medications app on the Apple Watch, and is useful for everything from prescriptions to vitamins.

iOS 16 Health Guide Feature
This guide covers everything you need to know about the drug tracking feature along with other new iOS 16 health app features.

drug tracking

“Medications” is a new section available in the Health app, which can be accessed by going to the Browse section and scrolling down to Medicines, or by typing in the Health app search bar.

ios 16 drugs section health


In the Medicines app, you can enter all the prescription medicines, over the counter medicines, and vitamins you take so that you can get reminders to take medicines, check interactions, and more.

ios 16 add medicine


Adding a medicine is as easy as tapping on the Add Medicine button in the Health app. From there, you can type in the name of a drug or vitamin, or use your own. iPhoneCamera to scan the label of your pill bottle. Adding via scan is simple, but it doesn’t always carry all the information, so you may need to manually select the dosage and form (pill, spray, etc.).

ios 16 drug label scan


From there, you can choose the frequency of times you take the medicine. You can choose a specific day or interval of days, specific days of the week, or as needed, and then you can set the time you want to take the medicine.

ios 16 health schedule medicine


Medicines can be customized with a size and color to match the pill you take in real life for quick and easy identification.

ios 16 health app customize medicine


You can add all your medicines and vitamins to the Health app, with everything viewable in one list.

medicine reminder

Once you’ve added your medicine to the Health app and set a time and day to take it, the iPhone will send you a notification when it’s time to take it. You can get notifications for all medicines that have been assigned a schedule in the Health app.

ios 16 medicine list health


Medication notifications are classified as time sensitive information and will be delivered at your specified time unless you override the setting.

log medicine


Notifications are automatic for all medicines that have a specified time and/or a specified day for you to take them.

drug logging

When a reminder notification pops up, you can tap it to be taken to a popup where you can mark a medication as “taken” or skipped. At the same time medicines from the list of medicines in health app can also be marked as log.

ios 16 health app medicine logging


The Health app can track the medicines you take over time, so you can check whether you’re taking your medicine regularly. You can view data organized by day, week, month, six months and year.

Apple will also provide a medicine “highlight” in your health summary that will tell you how many times you have taken the medicine in the past 28 days.

apple watch medicine app

In watchOS 9, there is a dedicated Medications app that you can tap on for quick logging in. You can log each drug into the app individually or use “Log All As Taken” to get them all at once. If you have missed a dose, you can choose the “skip” option.

drugs watchos 9


Apple Watch app is only for marking medicines taken and all other medicine management needs to be done in health app.

drug interactions

The health app regularly checks to make sure the medicines you’re taking aren’t interacting with each other, so you can avoid taking a combination of drugs that could be dangerous. Huh.

drug interactions ios 16

Drug side effects and other information

If you tap in any medicine from your Health app list, you can select the “Side effects” button to see the listed side effects of that drug, if it is available.

ios 16 drug side effects


Not all drugs have side effects listed, and this information is provided by Elsevier, a Netherlands-based company specializing in medical material, including the annual ScienceDirect book series on drug side effects.

export drugs

In the Medicines section of the Health app, there is an option to “Export Medication List PDF” which, as the name suggests, creates a simple PDF of the medicines you take. You can share this list with the doctor.

Features of sleep

For those wearing the Apple Watch to bed for sleep tracking purposes, watchOS 9 and iOS 16 bring new functionality. Sleep recorded by the Apple Watch is divided into wake, REM, core (light) and deep sleep categories, so you can get an idea of ​​how well you slept through the night.

iOS 16 sleep info


The Apple Watch will track when you’re in bed, how long you sleep, how often you wake up, and how much time you spend in REM, core, and deep sleep.

Apple defines the various sleep categories as follows:

  • Wake up – You may find yourself waking up during parts of the sleep session. It is normal for people to wake up from time to time. You may fall asleep right away and don’t remember waking up during the night.
  • rem This state of sleep may play a role in learning and memory. During this phase, your muscles are most relaxed and your eyes move rapidly from side to side. This is also when most of your dreams come true.
  • essence Sometimes referred to as light sleep, this phase is considered to be just as important as the other phases. This phase often represents the majority of your sleep each night. Brain waves that may be important for cognition occur during this phase.
  • Deep – Also known as slow wave sleep because of the brain wave pattern, this is the phase where body tissues are repaired and essential hormones are released. This state usually occurs over a long period of time during the first part of your sleeping session.

Sleep data collected by the Apple Watch can be viewed in the “Sleep” section of the Health app. Sleep statistics can now be viewed by day instead of just by week so you can track your sleep quality on a day-to-day basis.

Other than the new categories of sleep, the sleep functionality remains the same. You still use the same Bedtime and Wake Up features tied to the Wind Down and Sleep Focus options.

health sharing invitation

You can invite family members to share their data with you in iOS 16, which makes it easier to keep track of health information for elderly family members or children. Once the invitation is received, the person can choose to choose what data to share with you.

iOS 16 Health Sharing

fitness activity tracking

In iOS 15 And previously, you needed an Apple Watch to take advantage of the fitness app, but that has changed in iOS 16.

fitness app ios 16


You can use a fitness app with the iPhone’s motion sensor to track your activity level. The iPhone can estimate steps, distance covered, and third-party workouts to track how many calories you’ve burned in a day.

Without the Apple Watch, you’re limited to the Daily Move goal, without the Exercise and Stand goals.

guide feedback

Have questions about new health and fitness features in iOS 16, know of a feature we missed, or want to give feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

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