Future of MedTech

APPLE’S ANNOUNCEMENT GETS HEARTS RACING

This month’s much anticipated Apple Special Event was greeted with much fanfare as the company’s legions of loyal fans packed the Steve Jobs Theatre to witness the unveiling of the new instalments to the iPhone – iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max – but there was another announcement that got the audience heart’s racing.

The much-anticipated new additions to the iPhone family were quickly overshadowed by Apple’s fourth generation Watch, aptly named Series 4. An already established leader in technology wearables, the new Apple Watch Series 4 has accelerated Apple’s long march into the health and wellness space with the announcements of its new capabilities.

Speaking at the Special Event, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams, described the new Apple Watch as an intelligent guardian for your health.

Williams highlighted a number of key features including the watch’s improved accelerometer and gyroscope which can detect when a user is falling and call emergency services if required.

“Fall detection is a feature that we hope you never need but it’s really nice to know it’s there” Mr Williams said.

As reported in Wired Magazine, “the feature that received the most applause was the electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app”.

Partnering with cardiologist and President of the American Heart Association, Ivor Benjamin, Apple was able to introduce an industry-first consumer wearable that boasts the built-in ECG.  Through the new ECG app, users can opt to receive a heart rhythm classification within 30 seconds and a notification if an irregular heart rhythm is detected.

Users can export the data captured by the watch’s electrical heart rate sensor into a PDF report to be shared with health professionals for further analysis.

As consumer data continues to dominate the conversation around health in the United States and Australia, Apple’s latest achievement will likely herald a further shirt toward patient-centred care.

While the Apple Watch’s ECG capable app has been given the tick of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the same technology will not be available in Australia as the device is yet to have approval from the TGA.

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