Extracting More Apple Health Data

Posted on Wed 20 April 2016 in TDDA

The first version of the Python code for extracting data from the XML export from the Apple Health on iOS neglected to extract Activity Summaries and Workout data. We will now fix that.

As usual, I'll remind you how to get the code, if you want, then discuss the changes to the code, the reference test and the unit tests. Then in the next post, we'll actually start looking at the data.

The Updated Code

As before, you can get the code from Github with

$ git clone https://github.com/tdda/applehealthdata.git

or if you have pulled it before, with

$ git pull –tags

This version of the code is tagged with v1.3, so if it has been updated by the time you read this, get that version with

$ git checkout v1.3

I'm not going to list all the code here, but will pull out a few key changes as we discuss them.


Change 1: Change FIELDS to handle three different field structures.

The first version of the extraction code wrote only Records, which contain the granular activity data (which is the vast bulk of it, by volume).

Now I want to extend the code to handle the other two main kinds of data it writes—ActivitySummary and Workout elements in the XML.

The three different element types contain different XML attributes, which correspond to different fields in the CSV, and although they overlap, I think the best approach is to have separate record structures for each, and then to create a dictionary mapping the element kind to its field information.

Accordingly, the code that sets FIELDS changes to become:

RECORD_FIELDS = OrderedDict((
    ('sourceName', 's'),
    ('sourceVersion', 's'),
    ('device', 's'),
    ('type', 's'),
    ('unit', 's'),
    ('creationDate', 'd'),
    ('startDate', 'd'),
    ('endDate', 'd'),
    ('value', 'n'),

    ('dateComponents', 'd'),
    ('activeEnergyBurned', 'n'),
    ('activeEnergyBurnedGoal', 'n'),
    ('activeEnergyBurnedUnit', 's'),
    ('appleExerciseTime', 's'),
    ('appleExerciseTimeGoal', 's'),
    ('appleStandHours', 'n'),
    ('appleStandHoursGoal', 'n'),

WORKOUT_FIELDS = OrderedDict((
    ('sourceName', 's'),
    ('sourceVersion', 's'),
    ('device', 's'),
    ('creationDate', 'd'),
    ('startDate', 'd'),
    ('endDate', 'd'),
    ('workoutActivityType', 's'),
    ('duration', 'n'),
    ('durationUnit', 's'),
    ('totalDistance', 'n'),
    ('totalDistanceUnit', 's'),
    ('totalEnergyBurned', 'n'),
    ('totalEnergyBurnedUnit', 's'),

    'Record': RECORD_FIELDS,
    'ActivitySummary': ACTIVITY_SUMMARY_FIELDS,
    'Workout': WORKOUT_FIELDS,

and we have to change references (in both the main code and the test code) to refer to RECORD_FIELDS where previously there were references to FIELDS.

Change 2: Add a Workout to the test data

There was a single workout in the data I exported from the phone (a token one I performed primarily to generate a record of this type). I simply used grep to extract that line from export.xml and poked it into the test data `testdata/export6s3sample.xml'.

Change 3: Update the tag and field counters

The code for counting record types previously considered only nodes of type Record. Now we also want to handle Workout and ActivitySummary elements. Workouts do come in different types (they have a workoutActivityType field), so it may be that we will want to write out different workout types into different CSV files, but since I have only, so far, seen a single workout, I don't really want to do this. So instead, we'll write all Workout elements to a corresponding Workout.csv file, and all ActivitySummary elements to an ActivitySummary.csv file.

Accordingly, the count_record_types method now uses an extra Counter attribute, other_types to count the number of each of these elements, keyed on their tag (i.e. Workout or ActivitySummary).

Change 4: Update the test results to reflect the new behaviour

Two of the unit tests introduced last time need to be updated to reflect this Change 3. First, the field counts change, and secondly we need reference values for the other_types counts. Hence the new section in test_extracted_reference_stats:

    expectedOtherCounts = [
       ('ActivitySummary', 2),
       ('Workout', 1),

Change 5: Open (and close) files for Workouts and ActivitySummaries

We need to open new files for Workout.csv and ActivitySummary.csv if we have any such records. This is handled in the open_for_writing method.

Change 6: Write records for Workouts and ActivitySummaries

There are minor changes to the write_records method to allow it to handle writing Workout and ActivitySummary records. The only real difference is that the different CSV files have different fields, so we need to look up the right values, in the order specified by the header for each kind. The new code does that:

def write_records(self):
    kinds = FIELDS.keys()
    for node in self.nodes:
        if node.tag in kinds:
            attributes = node.attrib
            kind = attributes['type'] if node.tag == 'Record' else node.tag
            values = [format_value(attributes.get(field), datatype)
                      for (field, datatype) in FIELDS[node.tag].items()]
            line = encode(','.join(values) + '\n')

Change 7: Update the reference test

Finally, the reference test itself now generates two more files, so I've added reference copies of those to the testdata subdirectory and changed the test to loop over all four files:

def test_tiny_reference_extraction(self):
    path = copy_test_data()
    data = HealthDataExtractor(path, verbose=VERBOSE)
    for kind in ('StepCount', 'DistanceWalkingRunning',
                 'Workout', 'ActivitySummary'):
        self.check_file('%s.csv' % kind)

Mission Accomplished

We've now extracted essentially all the data from the export.xml file from the Apple Health app, and created various tests for that extraction process. We'll start to look at the data in future posts. There is one more component in my extract—another XML file called export_cda.xml. This contains a ClinicalDocument, apparently conforming to a standard from (or possibly administered by) Health Level Seven International. It contains heart-rate data from my Apple Watch. I probably will extract it and publish the code for doing so, but later.