Unless you can easily view your health data and see current trends, what is the point collecting it? Hello HeartWatch Dashboards. This new module is one of the best interactive dashboards we have seen on an iPhone, letting you view and compare 25+ health metrics opening up a whole new world in monitoring your health.
The Dashboards view can be opened from a number of places in HeartWatch, but when getting started the easiest way would be to tap the calendar icon in the top left corner when on the Today view (see below). Once you get some experience with the HeartWatch Navigation, you will discover that you can access Dashboards when 'Press & Holding' tiles on the front Today view, or by tapping on the banner when in the details view which even pre-loads the data you are currently looking at!
Tip - the size of the dashboard graph can be expanded or shrunk, its personal preference as some users love a nice big graph, while other would prefer more room for the calendar days. You can switch between both by tapping the 'expand/shrink' icon in the top right corner (see below).
Dashboards is cross functional in that it also works as a calendar, but the big difference to a boring old calendar is that it is super interactive and lets you visualise your data. A metric in a circle will show for each day depending on the time range you have selected, be it 6 weeks or 12 months. So if I am looking at my daily heartrate, the avg daily heartrate measurement will show in each daily circle, if I switch to sleep, it will show my sleeping heartrate. Each row indicates one full week from Monday to Sunday, simply use one finger to swipe up or down on the days to navigate through the weeks.
Each day that see on your Calendar is also interactive in that you can tap on it to see a pop-up. If you have multiple records on that day, for example you did 3 workouts, it will show up to a maximum of the 4 most current. See below I have tapped on the 13 February for my sleep and a pop-up appears. I can now easily navigate to that specific day for more information.
Calendar Pop-Up Flips
While viewing the calendar pop-ups, you will notice you can also swipe it using one finger to show additional information. Depending on which metric you have in the pop-up will alter the view, but in the example below you can see that when I swipe my sleep heartrate pop-up, it shows my current measurement compared to either a 7 day or 21 day average (these can also be toggled by tapping them to change the view).
Dashboards contains categories and sub-categories which work like menu tabs to organise your health data. You can tap on any category and it will display the sub-categories directly below it. See the example below where I have selected the category of Wellness, with the sub category of Daily showing.
Selecting one of the category options will automatically update the graph, with options to modify the time period, apply trends and even compare different metrics (refer to instructions below). The current categories include:
- Wellness - Daily HR, Sedentary HR, MinMax HR, Waking HR, Sleep HR, Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Blood Pressure (BP) am, Blood Pressure (BP) pm, Recharge
- Activity - Move, Exercise, Stand, Distance, Steps
- Workouts - Workout HR, Max HR, Energy, Duration, Load, Distance, Pace, VO2Max, Recovery
- Body - Weight, BMI
Tip - we added a shortcut where you can swipe on the graph left or right and it will jump to the next sub-category along. Give it a go.
Dashboards Time Range
Graphs let you alter the time period between 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. This can be changed by tapping on the time range period in the top right corner of the graph. It will drop-down the options to which you can select a new time range, as seen in the image below.
*Note that loading 12 months for the first time will take a few minutes to load all the data, however after this it will be super quick loading. Its worth the wait for a lifetime of benefits!
Trying to monitor your health day to day makes it next to impossible to determine any real changes. HeartWatch Trends let you apply a rolling average on top of your data, which is especially handy for noticing any real changes in your behaviours and habits, such as your exercise increasing or weight loss over a period. HeartWatch allows a 7 day trend and a 21 day trend to any graph. See below the images for activating trends, shown as the white line.
Dashboards Trends Compare
Once you have discovered applying trend lines, you can take it one step extra and compare it against another trend line. Note that the trends need to be the same time period, such as 6 months. You can however compare a 7 day trend to another 21 day trend over the same time period. To activate the compare, you will see a 'Touch to Pin' link once you select a trend line as seen below. Instructions will then appear to select a new metric to compare
You can see in the example below I am comparing a 21 day trend for Body Weight and Workout Avg HR. The Body Weight trend is in the pink colour and the Workouts trend line is in white. Comparing trend lines can provide amazing insights.
When looking into your Workouts, we understand that users sometimes have different requirements when viewing their training data. For example, when it comes to viewing your Distance or Pace, you may like to exclude your cycling workouts from your running workouts. To allow this, a filter option is available to apply to your graph. This is found in the top right corner when in Dashboards and on the Workouts category, which will show the current filter applied.
Filters will display a list of options that you can apply, see below I have selected 'Running' and 'Running Indoor' for my Distance. This will mean only these measurements come through on the graphs.
For more advanced filters, there is also a Graph Range toggle and Effort & Fitness toggle (see below image):
- Graph Range - this will lock the scale so you can compare different types of workouts
- Effort & Fitness - this will show accumulated week totals instead of daily averages
If you do apply 'Effort & Fitness', new lines will appear at the top of the graph called Effort, Trend and Fitness. In summary:
- Effort - this is training Load units (rpe x duration) which shows your exercise intensity, or effort as expressed here. Refer to Workouts for additional information on what Load is
- Trend - this is a 7 day rolling average of your Effort. It is a good marker for identifying spikes in your effort that may lead to fatigue
- Fitness - this is a 28 day rolling average of your Effort. It is a good marker for identifying your level of fitness
One of the great add-ons with HeartWatch Dashboards is that we also link in other metrics and vitals from Apple Health that may have been captured in HeartWatch or with another app or connected device, like weight scales or blood pressure equipment. We find using the HeartWatch speak functionality on your Watch an amazing way to capture this information, alternatively it means you can keep capturing this information outside of HeartWatch (like with bluetooth scales), but use the great dashboards in HeartWatch to view your trends! These extras include the following.
Blood Pressure (BP)
Unless you have a fully automated device that sends your BP readings directly into Apple Health, we recommend using the Speak option on the Watch app, its super easy! More information can be found in the Watch Use section on recording measures and notes, but as a quick example, you just open the Watch app (see below image), Touch and Hold (long press) anywhere in the app, select Measure and then speak the words "blood pressure 124 over 81", HeartWatch will do the rest by recognising it as a blood pressure reading and add it directly into HeartWatch. Easy peasy.
Blood pressure can be viewed in Dashboards under Wellness - BP (am) and BP (pm). There’s an am and pm view so users can establish a morning, afternoon or evening protocol as well. The protocol advised by some of our medical users are :
- wake up
- toilet if required
- no coffee or food
- rest 5 mins then measure
This lets you compare like results. But main thing is one consistent morning reading at a similar time, or optionally an afternoon or evening reading. Below shows the BP (am) dashboard, importantly plotting both values from the measure.
Tap on any day and a pop-up will appear showing what category you are in based on your measure. As always, consult your doctor if any concerns. See some examples below.
Tip - You can also swipe the blood pressure pop-up and it will show your 21 day average. See below.
Weight / BMI
Similar to blood pressure, we find using the speak function in the HeartWatch Watch app is so easy to record your weight. Simply speak in your weight and it will be recorded (refer to Watch Use for how), but again you can use any device like connected bluetooth scales that send the data to your Health app. Once recorded, you can then track all your trends using HeartWatch Dashboards via the Body - Weight/BMI tabs.
VO2 Max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise. Maximal oxygen consumption reflects cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance capacity in exercise performance. When you use your Apple Watch to do a outdoor walk or outdoor run for at least 20mins, this will generate a VO2 max measure. View in Dashboards by going to Workouts - VO2 Max tab.
Heart rate recovery is the decrease of your heart rate for 2 minutes after your finish exercising. This is a great way to measure cardiovascular improvement, as it is a measure of your cardiac efficiency. It is important to do this immediately after exercising. HeartWatch makes this easy as the Watch app has a 'Recovery' option in Workouts that will automatically record your recovery over a 2 minute window (refer to Watch Use for more information). Your recovery information can then be viewed in Dashboards via the Workouts - Recovery tab.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) means the variation in time between consecutive heartbeats. It is universally accepted as a non-invasive marker of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) activity. Refer to the Wellness section for additional information on capturing and monitoring your HRV and Waking Pulse. View your trends in Dashboards via the Wellness - HRV tab.
Dashboards & Calendar Video
Try the following video which shows the basics for using the Dashboards, applying trends and how to compare overlapping trends from all your health metrics: