Apple will be the first company to offer an over-the-counter electrocardiogram device to consumers.
The company announced the new feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 during its fall product introduction at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday.
Apple has added electrodes to the Apple Watch, which can measure the electric activity in the heart to detect heart diseases and irregular heartbeats that could lead to heart attacks and strokes. Electrocardiograms are a standard medical test often given in a clinic or doctor’s office, but Apple’s innovation allows users to test themselves simply by opening an app. Within 30 seconds data is collected and a report is generated in order to detect any abnormalities. The information is then stored in a PDF file, which people can use to share with their doctors.
Dr. Ivor Benjamin, who heads up the American Heart Association and is a cardiologist, was on hand at the event to endorse the new feature.
‘Products that seek to provide deeper health insights like the Apple Watch Series 4 offer great potential,’ he said.
Apple said the product has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration and will be available later this year. Apple hopes to make the feature available to customers outside the US.