Apple focused on big displays — and even bigger medical applications — introducing a revamped Apple Watch that doubles as a medical device and three new iPhones at its annual event today.
With its latest smartwatch, the company moves further into health. The Apple Watch Series 4 can be used to take an electrocardiogram, or ECG, to monitor heart rate abnormalities, Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer announced.
The company said it has obtained two Food and Drug Administration approvals for the watch as a medical device — for the do-it-yourself ECG and for the monitoring of irregular heart rate, which can be a sign of atrial defibrillation that can lead to stroke and heart failure.
The American Heart Association’s president Ivor J. Benjamin took the stage to talk about how devices that offer real-time heart information are “changing the way we practice medicine.”
He said, “patients report symptoms that are absent during their medical visits,” and that the device would help monitor symptoms during real-life activity.
The new watch can also detect falls and slips. If the wearer remains motionless for more than 60 seconds, it will send an alert to emergency services and start calling emergency contacts.