Apple releases new version of Watch with ECG and falls detector

Apple has launched the fourth-generation version of its Apple Watch, featuring new hardware and software enhancements including an ECG app, the ability to detect an irregular heartbeat and a new accelerometer and gyroscope that can detect hard falls.

The ECG and atrial fibrillation capabilities will only be available for US buyers for the time being. The GPS-only Watch will be available in Australia and New Zealand from September 21, but Kiwis will have to wait until later in the year for the GPS + cellular model.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: Apple


+2 # Richard Medlicott 2018-09-14 08:26
Thanks god we don't have that functionality here yet. Just we don't need - a whole heap of well to do people at low risk of actual disease doing self screening for asymptomatic arrhythmia. Again, technologists creating more data, when I fact we needless. I can see use case for a patient who has symptomatic palpitation, getting a quick rhythm strip at time of symptoms would be useful. In the main though, this is going to be an enormous pain in the arse for the doctors having to explain to newly anxious people why some ectopic beats, brief runs of SVT are irrelevant.

Perfect for the US health service - lets divert even more wasted resources to the healthy wealthy and ignore the huge health disparities. Of course the press is all gushing what a life saver this is. Bollocks.
+1 # Ross Hardy 2018-09-14 15:52
Largely agree with you (equity/access) however, mHealth technology must be embraced as the medical profession can do nothing to stop it. Releasing validated medical technology is better for consumes than non validated. Health literacy needs to be simultaneously addressed by those that release the technology in order to better inform the user of how to use the tech and info it provides. Excellent use of bollocks too...pmsl!
+1 # QLD Health staff member 2018-09-17 15:37
However, for my dear old mum, who goes into AF at random intervals, and is in SRby the time the ambulance arrives, this would be brilliant. She is also a high falls risk, so sign me up.
+1 # Richard Medlicott 2018-09-17 16:07
Understand both comments, and I'm not averse to technology in practice (For example I'm an ealry pioneer and advocate of patrient portals here in NZ for the last 10 years or so). I'd argue that if mum has known paroxysmal AF requiring ambulance call out then the issue is not diagnosis, rather it is managewmnt. Not sure the watch really helps. But yea, she is a high risk group where it may be useful. My point is the low risk group wher it will be hard to get signal from noise.
+1 # Ross Hardy 2018-09-17 16:20
The future of health is and should be all about self managed care as I'm sure you know. The challenge is for the medical profession at large to accept that consumers are now arguably well informed, despite lacking clinical level understanding. With the (slow) drive towards value based care, the consumer tech sector will provide a great deal of support to future patients more than than today. We have no idea what the world will look like in 10-15 years time, but we must start somewhere. Check out Twitter and the noise...quite amusing as it seems that it's not just pathology and radiology that is under threat from tech ;-)

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