The newest Apple Watch model tracks many of your health vitals and compiles them into a easy-to-read PDF that your doctor can access at any time.
We've known that the Apple Watch can do much more than just track how many steps you take each day. In the past, those looking to get into shape have been able to track runs, monitor their heart rate, track sleep, and to even help catch early signs of serious health issues. The newest Apple Watch adds even more features—and provides health data directly to your doctor.
The new model, which starts at $399, will be able to actually take an ECG—a recording of the heart's electrical activity, used as a standard test to detect any related issues—just by using the watch's digital crown. The watch will be able to detect if a heart rate is irregular or exhibiting symptoms that are commonly associated with atrial fibrillation.
“This is the first ECG product offered over-the-counter directly to consumers,” Apple COO Jeff Williams told press at an event yesterday. The new Apple Watch has clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Williams added.
Furthermore, Apple's new product will be able to collect all of your health data and automatically create a PDF file of your vitals that can be shared with doctors. Healthcare professionals are so interested in the potential power of the Apple Watch as a preventative measure that, last year, Aetna—which issues an Apple Watch to all of the employees who work for the insurance giant—considered issuing an Apple Watch to all of its customers.
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Another feature coming to new watch models: It will be able to use the accelerometer and gyroscope, (which can help track runs when GPS isn't available) to recognize if a user abruptly falls—and then notify emergency responders of your location if you don't respond within one minute, Time reports.
The Apple Watch is loaded with a slew of other programs and features that encourage overall wellness as well, including an app called Breathe, designed to help reduce stress and anxiety.
The Apple Watch has not necessarily pioneered all these new features: Earlier this year, FitBit and Google joined forces to enable some of their wearable gadgets to send health data from devices to doctors. And for anyone who already may own an older Apple Watch, Kardia Band offers a adjustable strap that enables you to take a 30-second EKG on the spot.
For those who have had past issues with their cardiovascular health, however, the Apple Watch Series 4 might be the only wearable gadget available that can keep an eye on all aspects of heart-related vitals. And for anyone looking for more intuitive data into how healthy their bodies are, this technology could be the key to better fitness and health.