Health data from an Apple device has reportedly been used as evidence in a murder trial in Germany.

German police believe activity data recorded by the Apple Health app, which suggested the suspect was climbing stairs at the time of the murder, could in fact have been him dragging his victim down a riverbank and climbing back up.

The accused, Hussein K, has admitted guilt but is disputing some details, BBC News reported.

Medical student Maria Ladenburger, 19, was murdered in October 2016 with the trial in Freiburg starting in September.

The suspect refused to give police the PIN code to his phone, prompting them to call in an unnamed cyber-forensics firm in Munich in order to break into the device.

Data from the phone revealed Hussein’s movements and suggested there were two peaks of strenuous activity, which the app put down to him “climbing stairs”.

Part of the police investigation reportedly involved one officer, of similar build to the suspect, visiting the area where Ms Ladenburger’s body was found and recreating how the police believe the body was disposed of.

Data from the Apple Health app on the officer’s device also suggested he was “climbing stairs”.

It was reported in September that Apple is significantly improving the digital health capabilities of its platform and devices.

Most significant was the announcement of enhanced heart rate monitoring and alerting software being built into the latest generation of Apple Watches.