Technology Print


September 17, 2018,

Last week Apple introduced an expanded feature to its heart monitoring app on the new Apple Watch.  What does this new feature do?

  • It notifies you when it detects an irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation or aFib).  AFib can cause fatigue and shortness of breath and can create a risk of stroke and heart failure;
  • Once an irregular rhythm is detected the Watch runs an EKG (electrocardiogram) which is a test you would normally receive in your doctor's office;
  • The EKG feature is not recommended for people under age 22 or for those people that have been previously diagnosed with aFib;
  • Most health care professionals agree it is better to catch aFib early;
  • Early studies of the app show its effectiveness in detecting a problem, although there is still the likelihood that many users will be sent to the doctor with false indications;
  • Another feature is the ability to detect falls and dial emergency numbers;
  • The Watch will cost $399 and is expected to be available later this month although the health app feature may not be available for a few months.

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