CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple has introduced an Apple Watch that has been redesigned and re-engineered to include health capabilities like an accelerometer and gyroscope that are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram using a new ECG app.
The ECG app has been granted a De Novo classification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 continues to be an indispensable communication and fitness companion, and now with the addition of groundbreaking features, like fall detection and the first-ever ECG app offered directly to consumers, it also becomes an intelligent guardian for your health,” said Jeff Williams, COO at Apple, in a statement.
Apple Watch Series 4 enables customers to take an ECG reading right from their wrist through the ECG app, which uses electrodes and an electrical heart rate sensor. The app can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of atrial fibrillation. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.
The fall detection feature uses an accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms, to identify when hard falls occur. By analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with location to emergency contacts.