Apple Watch evolving into medical device

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.

Though it retains numerous features that Watch users love most about their wrist companions, the Series 4 is basically a total overhaul from earlier versions of Apple's Watch.

Apple kicked off its September 12 iPhone event by unveiling the "redesigned and re-engineered" Apple Watch Series 4.

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A new accelerometer and gyroscope that can detect falls.

This is where the latest model takes a giant leap.

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In the case of the Apple Watch Series 4, Kuo said that USA pre-orders for the Series 4 have grown faster than expected, taking 55 percent of the share with the second-best model being the Series 3.

When you place your finger on the Digital Crown, it can measure the rhythm of your heart. This feature will appeal particularly to people anxious about their heart health.

"Already we get information from patients using these wearables and that information isn't integrated into our electronic medical records or our workflow", Khandwalla said.

The fall detection upgrade is expected to appeal to worker safety concerns in factories or other industrial settings, as well as to elderly or disabled users.

Can Apple products save you from a stroke, cardio episode or devastating fall?

Send notifications using its SOS feature.

Only certain Apple Watch models support cellular calls, but those that don't can still make emergency calls when near a paired iPhone or Wi-Fi service.

In fact, Apple has had a Health app for iOS since 2014, used for, among other purposes, tracking your steps, nutrition and housing a medical ID with your blood type, medications and emergency contacts.

The iPhone maker told fans that all the existing Watch bands would work with the Series 4. Preorders start September 14, with watches shipping September 21.

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Apple says it monitored some 2,500 people - measuring how they fell off ladders, missed a step while walking or got their legs caught in their trousers while getting dressed.

Those with health conditions that need frequent ECG checks may be the most compelled to get the Series 4, as it will let them monitor their cardiac health more thoroughly at home in between doctor visits.

Marcus - whose Health eHeart study is evaluating how technology can help patients - and Mandrola say they are optimistic about how data collected from Apple Watch from people who've opted in to studies can help researchers.

  • Kara Saunders