Apple Unveils its new Watch Series 4 with FDA-approved ECG features

Published Date | 2018 September 13

Apple’s new Apple Watch Series 4, would feature Electrocardiogram (ECG) functions in the device as they got the approval from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

United States: Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams, has announced at an event in in Cupertino that the company has got FDA clearance for both an atrial fibrillation-detecting algorithm and an ECG to be built into their new Apple Watch Series 4 which will be launched in the market in September. Apart from ECG the watch will also have several other health features like fall detection via accelerometer and gyroscope available in the device. The launch will positively impact the medical wearable devices market. The company’s decision to work on the algorithm for detecting atrial fibrillation has become Apple’s first FDA-cleared product. This device has the ability to screen a user’s heart rhythm in the background which will be sent back to the user with a notification, if it detects an irregular rhythm that is considered to be atrial fibrillation. Though, it won’t catch every instance of atrial fibrillation, but this might help a lot of people who didn’t realize that they have a heart issue. The device is also made to alert users regarding low and high heart rates with the help of an electrical heart sensor that allow users to take an electrocardiogram, or ECG, to share with doctor which is a momentous achievement for a wearable device. ECG function is been accomplished by adding electrodes to the digital crown and back of the device. When the user places his/her finger on digital crown, it creates a closed circuit with electrodes on the back, providing data that uses ECG application on the device to analyse heart rhythm. It will take only about 30 seconds for a user to take an ECG, which is then stored in Apple's Health application. Thus, by using Apple Health Records, users will be able to send readings directly to their doctors. This will be a breakthrough launch because the same watch that user wear on a daily basis in order to make phone calls and respond to messages, can now take an ECG. In addition to ECG, Apple will also feature fall detection function that requires tremendous amount of data and analysis. This data will be collected on thousands of people and the captured data will be on real-world falls. With the use of accelerator and gyroscope, the watch will analyse wrist trajectory and send alert to the user. The user then can call an emergency contact, and if the device detects that the user is immobile for one minute after the fall, it will automatically reach out to authorities using Apple's emergency alert system. According to BlueWeave Consulting, Apple is known as a market disruptor in the technology device market as it comes with devices which are first of its kind. This time it has planned to reshape the healthcare sector by venturing into smart wearable device in healthcare segment. The launch of this series will positively boost the global market for medical wearable devices in the upcoming years owing to its potential to provide real-time access to health records that can lead to quicker diagnosis and treatment of serious health conditions.