Wearable electronics come with a rich set of sensors and equipment that monitor our health profile. Smartwatches are the core of wearable electronics. And, Apple watches hold the credibility and the trust of the users. To expand and increase the confidence, Apple will bring new products (smartwatches) to measure and detect atrial fibrillation via the ECG function at higher heart rates.
About Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a phenomenon in our body when the heartbeat increases rapidly. This issue can further impose risks like strokes and heart failure. During atrial fibrillation, the upper two heart chambers show irregular disparity and beat rapidly. Hence, the upper chambers lose coordination and alignment with the lower two sections of the heart. The symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation are heart palpitation, shortness of breath, and weakness. One of the significant concerns related to this issue is the development of blood clots in the upper chambers. This blood clot may also circulate to other parts of the body leading to blocked blood flow (ischemia).
The Latest Development
Apple has come up with the Apple Watch 4 (AW4), which claims to detect atrial fibrillation in our body. According to the press release, Cleveland Clinic is studying and testing the claims of Apple. The new Apple Watch Series 4, the ECG app can record the electrical signals generated in a body during a heartbeat. This app can read the data due to two points of contact with the smartwatch. One of the previous version’s critical problems was that the app depends on the user having a more manageable pulse to perform the reading. It was unable to read the heart rates below 50 bpm (beats per minute) or above 120 bpm. Hence, the smartwatch fails to serve the elite athletes or those who have rigorous exercise schedules or severe stress and nervousness. Due to its new watchOS 7.2, Apple says that the smartwatches with this watchOS version will measure heartbeat up to 150 bpm. As a result, Apple has applied for an update to its ECG app in the FDA.
Apple has released the latest beta version of watchOS 7.2. To upgrade to this new OS version, Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life. Also, the smartwatch should be in charging mode, along with being within the range of the iPhone. In this OS, Apple has added the second version of its algorithm to monitor ECG. Apple has not provided any information about the algorithm used for ECG monitoring, and instead, it informed the developers of its new name for their API calls. The watchOS 7.2 provides a Cardio Fitness feature for the Apple Watch. As per Apple, the cardio fitness metric is a strong indicator to assess the overall health. It measures VO2 max, or the maximum amount of oxygen one consumes during the exercise. The watchOS 7.2 also supports Apple’s newest streaming service, Apple Fitness+. But, the update of this support is yet to come in the next few weeks. Cardio Fitness information will vary based on gender and age. Hence, the device will accordingly categorize the data obtained on one of the four ranges: high, above average, below average, or low.
The new update in Apple has promising features and can serve more people due to the detection of AFib. Measuring the heartbeat rate up to 150 bpm will enhance the ECG monitoring of the body and provide prior alert signals. After Apple’s bio-authentication sensor, this feature in the Apple smartwatches will receive accolades from all corners of the world.