The Apple Watch is inching toward becoming a medical device

“Apple is trying to turn its smartwatch from a niche gadget into a lifeline to better health by slowly evolving it into a medical device,” Michael Liedtke reports for The Associated Press. “In its fourth incarnation, called Series 4 and due out later this month, the Apple Watch will add features that allow it to take high-quality heart readings and detect falls.”

“The latest version, unveiled Wednesday, is pushing the health envelope even further — in particular by taking electrocardiograms, or EKGs, a feature given clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Apple said. The watch will also monitor for irregular heartbeats and can detect when the wearer has fallen, the company said,” Liedtke reports. “EKGs are important tests of heart health and typically require a visit to the doctor. The feature gained an onstage endorsement from Ivor Benjamin, a cardiologist who is president of the American Heart Association. He said such real-time data would change the way doctors work.”

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) in Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band (40mm $699, 44mm $749)
Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) in Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band (40mm $699, 44mm $749)

“Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said the feature could turn smartwatches ‘from something people buy for prestige into something they buy for more practical reasons,'” Liedtke reports. “It could also lead some health insurance plans to subsidize the cost of an Apple Watch, Nguyen said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Watch Series 4 marks the inflection point where sales really take off!

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    1. The onset of Afib can happen to young people. So even though it is likely non serious it can be a progressive condition. If you are younger and you get the AW4 you can better monitor if you are going to have more severe issues later in life. I am a person who has this condition and have had several recognized attacks over the past 15 years (yes I qualify as geriatric now – age71).

      1. You assume most people think. They don’t. They perceive. When it is said that this general purpose wearable instrument is inching toward becoming a medical device, it sounds like it’s inching toward a niche. With Apple devices, sadly, it’s all about fashion. Looks. Perceived cool. Not functionality. People are afraid of health issues or being “perceived” as having them. We are a youth culture.

        The point is not that the function isn’t a good one, but that functionality outside of health needs innovation as well, innovation beyond how many complications can you add to a face.

  1. I was hoping they would have had a way of measuring blood sugar by now with the Watch but it’s probably a couple years off. Meanwhile there are other dedicated methods of doing that without needing a blood sample. Compelling health monitoring options alone on the Watch will send sales through the roof. Which concern young and old alike.

    1. This takes an old ad line and changes the economics. The actual fall device that works outside the house costs $40 or more a month in fees. The Watch effectively has a a one year payout for that one feature.

  2. The future for those well employed is a free Apple Watch. Just like you can get a lower rate at work for for smoking abatement or weight management., you will get a free Apple Watch for “compliance cooperation’. Months away.

    How You Might Be Eligible for a Free Apple Watch From Your Health Insurer

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