Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Apple's new watch will tell you if you're having heart problems

Apple's new watch will tell you if you're having heart problems

During the product announcement, the company also announced the Apple Heart Study, which uses data from Apple Watch to test if the heart rate sensors can detect common heart conditions.

To go along with this new addition, Apple announced the Apple Heart Study to look at irregular heart rhythms using data from the Apple Watch and in partnership with Stanford medicine. Apple is holding an event on Tuesday where it plans to unveil updates to the iPhone and Apple Watch.

"A regular heart rhythm has a familiar pattern, but when your heart beats irregularly it's called arrhythmia", explained Apple exec Jeff Williams. But in some people, a condition known as atrial fibrillation can show no external symptoms while carrying a risk of blood clots, strokes and other complications. In atrial fibrillation, electrical conduction in the heart becomes disorganised. As such, the optical heart rate monitor is ahem at the heart of watchOS 4.

It'll also track heart rhythm, so wearers will know if they've developed an irregular heart beat, or enable them to monitor existing irregularities.

It's clear the consumer technology giant is showing a greater interest in health and wellness, although some are still skeptical that wearables like the Apple Watch can have a significant impact on a complex healthcare system.

"We started working on the Apple Watch several years ago", [Cook] said, and one goal was "performing some measurements of your health that people were not measuring, at least continually". Like your heart. Very few people wore heart monitors. "And yes it is a business opportunity".

In June, CNBC reported that Apple hired Sumbul Desai, from Stanford's digital health team who was working on projects related to Apple Watch. Apple has not yet announced the Australian or United Kingdom prices for the device.

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