TODAY, WITH A software update, Apple switched on two highly anticipated features of its popular wearable: The first uses optical sensors to detect irregular heart rhythms on Apple Watch Series 1 and later iterations. The second enables wearers of Apple Watch Series 4 to record an electrocardiogram, or ECG, directly from their wrist.
Apple Watch’s new features are designed to help users spot signs of an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation—AFib, for short. It’s the most common form of arrhythmia, with upwards of 6 million diagnoses in America alone, a number that is expected to increase to 12 million by 2030. It’s also associated with increased risk of serious health problems like stroke.
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