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Apple Watch Series 4: ECG and Fall Detection

image from Apple

The newly announced Apple Watch Series 4 pushes their smartwatches to be more health-focused. Equipped with an ECG (electrocardiogram) and fall detection, it is the first Apple Watch to have significant improvements over its predecessor and the potential to provide real-world benefits.

image from Apple

Lets go through the basic technical changes:

  • New dual-core 64 bit S4 Processor
  • Larger rounder edge screen with 40mm and 44mm sizes
  • Updated accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Digital crown with haptic feedback
  • Louder speakers
  • Back of the watch is now black ceramic with sapphire crystal.
  • Electrocardiogram

The two features that are really exciting are the electrocardiogram and fall detection feature. The electrocardiogram feature has received clearance from the FDA (this is different from FDA approved). What this means is that the electrocardiogram should be used by someone who is over the age of 22 and should not be used for people who have been previously diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. It also should not replace any traditional diagnostic tools. The electrocardiogram provides your doctor with information regarding your daily heart rhythm. This has the potential to provide additional insight for your doctor and should be very helpful.

The fall detection feature could help save lives. The watch is now smart enough to detect falls and can notify emergency services if you do not get up. It will also notify any emergency contacts you have on the phone.

Is it worth the $399 price tag? Well, I think that will really depend on the user. It is, however, years ahead of what the Wear OS platform is able to offer. Google really needs to step up on this one.