Apple has built into its new Apple Watch the ability to perform an electrocardiogram, or ECG. Owners who find troubling data from the test could then share it with their doctor. NPR’s Avie Schneider reports:
Apple unveiled three new iPhones, including two with bigger displays, but perhaps the more dramatic announcement from Cupertino, Calif., on Wednesday was its new Apple Watch, with the new health-related tools.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will let users take an electrocardiogram, or ECG, and share it with their doctor.
Apple said it’s the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers.
Such heart data is important for some people because they could be at risk for a stroke. However, it could also increase the chance of false positives, Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist with the Scripps Research Institute, told NPR.
“It’s definitely going to expand the detection,” he said. “A lot of people have [abnormal heart rhythms] who don’t have the symptoms. There are a lot of unknowns here.”
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said the watch has “become an intelligent guardian for your health.” He said Apple has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its new ECG app, and that the data will be protected by encryption on the Watch and in the cloud.
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