Apple’s 2018 Event had a lot of highlights that were sure to get people excited. The headlining announcement was hands down the new iPhones but the star of the show, that has to be the new Apple Watch Series 4. The fourth generation Apple Watch maintains the wearable’s square-faced, minimalist form factor, but improves how much info can be squeezed on that tiny display, and the watch’s health-tracking capabilities.
Apple Watch Series 4 runs watchOS 5 and brings advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including a new accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Apple Watch Series 4 and ECG test
Apple Watch Series 4 enables customers to take an ECG reading right from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal.
“We’ve added electrodes into the back sapphire crystal and the digital crown, allowing you to take an electrocardiogram. This is the first ECG product offered over the counter, directly to consumers,” said COO Jeff Williams
With the app, users touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.
If this isn’t the future of medical diagnosis, I don’t know what is.
Many analysts aren’t exactly sure if this move is the wisest of ideas. Healthcare providers usually use ECGs in hospitals to measure the heart’s electrical activity and detect abnormalities in its rhythm. But with the latest iteration of its smartwatch, Apple wants to put an ECG on your wrist that you can use “anytime, anywhere.”