Personal Health

The Apple Watch Series 4: Everything You Need to Know About the Game-Changing New Health Features

Ready for a smartphone or smartwatch upgrade? You’re in luck: Apple just announced that they’ll be launching three new iPhones this fall. Even better, though, is the new-and-improved Apple Watch, which boasts innovative and potentially life-saving health features.

At Apple’s annual event in Cupertino, California, CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone Xr, iPhone Xs, and iPhone Xs MAX. Most exciting for us at Health, though, is the company’s new Apple Watch, which has some incredible wellness features. The wearable (which is being called the Apple Watch Series 4) will enable users to take an electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG or ECG test, to measure heart rhythms, while a built-in heart rate sensor can detect atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rate).  Also new: The Apple Watch Series 4 is able to sense if you’ve fallen down and will call 9-11 if you’re not able to get up within a minute.

The bottom line? While no wearable will replace regular check-ups with your doctor, the new Apple Watch Series 4 can help collect and monitor your heart data, including heart irregularities that might be risk factors for a heart failure or stroke.

“The role that technology plays in allowing patients to capture meaningful data about what’s happening with their heart, right when it’s happening, like the functionality of an on-demand ECG, could be significant in new clinical care models and shared decision making between people and their healthcare providers,” Nancy Brown, CEO American Heart Association, told Health.

And while the new health tools are unprecedented, don’t worry: there are plenty of cool tech features to love, too. Think a bigger display, louder speakers, and thinner hardware. Fitness fanatics will also appreciate updates to the new watchOS 5 (available on September 17), including pace alerts for runners, the ability to ‘challenge’ friends to activity competitions, and the addition of yoga and hiking in the watch’s Workout app.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available for pre-order tomorrow, September 14. It will retail for $399 (or $499 with cellular service) and will be available to ship later this month.

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